Japan Urges Russia to Stop Bomber Flights

Russian bombers have flown around Japan amid a territorial dispute, Tokyos new Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Friday, calling on Moscow to refrain from "provocative" military action.

Gemba said he expressed Tokyos concern about the flight of two Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers around the Japanese mainland on Thursday, in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The two countries are in dispute over Russian-held islands on the fringe of the Okhotsk Sea, called the southern Kurils in Russia but also claimed by Japan, where they are collectively known as the Northern Territories.

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