The head of the Japanese Defence Agency, Shigery Ishiba, did not exclude the possibility of Russia's participation in the multilateral military exercises Rimpac in the Pacific Ocean in which the Navies of the United States, Japan and a number of other countries of the Asia-Pacific region are taking part.
"Of course, Russia itself will decide whether to take part in the Rimpac exercises or not, but I would like to say that the participation of a great number of the countries in the multilateral exercises in the Asia-Pacific region contributes not only to the growth of the fighting efficiency of the armed forces of the participating countries but also to confidence building and mutual understanding, it makes a contribution to peace and stability in the region," said the head of the Japanese National Defence Agency in an interview given to the RIA Novosti correspondent.
The Rimpac manoeuvres have been held since the early 1970s, on the average once in two years, they are the most large-scale military games on the sea in the Asia-Pacific region. The latest exercises were held in June-July, this year, in the area of the Hawaii Islands with the participation of 11,000 servicemen from seven countries --Australia, Canada, Peru, the United States, Chile, South Korea, Japan and also Great Britain.
The manoeuvres lasted for about a month, and 30 ships, 24 planes and helicopters, as well as other military equipment took part in them.