Russia has 40 planes in drills near Japan

April 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

MOSCOW, April 16 (UPI) -- About 40 Russian strategic bombers are participating in a five-day exercise in Russia's Maritime Territory near its border with Japan, officials said.

The drills, which will include bombing and launches of airborne cruise missiles, began Monday at the Litovka test range, RIA Novosti reported.

Other training missions will include aerial patrol and midair refueling, said Col. Vladimir Drik, defense ministry spokesman.

Recently, Japan has been concerned about Russian warplanes near its coast, the report said.

In February, five Russian planes flew close to Japanese airspace but did not enter the territory.

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