Squall prevents joint exercises of Russian and Japanese border ships

The joint exercises of Russian and Japanese ships at the shores of the Hokkaido Island (separated in the north from the Russian Sakhalin Island by the La Perouse strait) have been postponed from Wednesday to Thursday, June 5, because of bad weather, the first regional headquarters of the Japanese coastguards reported by telephone.

At present the strength of wind in the area of planned exercises is 20 meters per second, a headquarters spokesman said.

The Russian patrol ship Sokol of the Nakhodka force and the border ship Korsakov from Sakhalin are in Japan on a visit. They are to practice, together with four ships of the Japanese coastal guards, operations to detain trespasser ships and seize smuggled arms and drugs.

The visit of the ships will end on June 6 as planned, despite the delay in exercises, said a coastguards spokesman in Otaru.

Mutual visits by ships between the border services of both countries began three years ago. In 2001 Japanese ships called at the port of Vladivostok and last year they visited the Sakhalin Island. Russian ships visited the port of Tokyo twice in the same years.

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