Russian submarines test-fire cruise missiles in Sea of Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Red Square in Moscow

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Two submarines of the Russian navy’s Pacific fleet have test-fired Kalibr cruise missiles, hitting a target in the Sea of Japan, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The missiles were fired from the Sea of Japan, according to Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency. Russia has used the Kalibr missile, which has a range of 2,000 kilometers, in its invasion of Ukraine.

The Japanese government conveyed its concern about the missile drill to Moscow through diplomatic channels, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.

The Russian ministry said that the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Volkhov submarines fired Kalibr missiles at a target representing an enemy ship. Over 15 vessels of the fleet assisted the submarines in the drill.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said that the carrier strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is conducting joint training with the Self-Defense Forces in the Sea of Japan.

Russia’s missile drill may have been carried out in response to the joint training. Moscow is stepping up its criticism of Tokyo for adding sanctions against Russia.

Since last year, Russia has been increasing its military activities in the Sea of Japan, repeating missile tests.

The country conducted multiple drills on the Russian-held northern territories after starting its invasion of Ukraine in February this year.

In the ongoing attacks, Russia fired Kalibr missiles into southern Ukraine from the Caspian Sea.

“In recent years, Russian military activities near our country have tended to increase,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.

“We’ll continue to collect information on the military’s activities and conduct warning and surveillance,” he added.