• Kyodo

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The Japanese and Russian coast guards conducted a joint drill Thursday off Otaru port in Hokkaido to reinforce cooperation on border control activities to prevent drug, arms and human smuggling.

The Japan Coast Guard and the Russian Federal Border Guard Service participated in the drill, which was based on a border control agreement signed in September 2000.

It was the third of its kind and the first to be conducted in Japan, officials said.

Taking part in the drill were 100 members and two patrol ships from the Russian force and 300 members, four patrol ships and three aircraft from the Japan Coast Guard.

The drill involved a scenario in which the two sides cooperated in chasing and catching a drug-running ship on waters near the border.

The drill had been postponed for a day due to strong winds.

The Russian coast guard personnel will stay in Otaru until Friday to take part in exchange programs with their Japanese counterparts.

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