TOKYO (AP) _ In the first such visit in 71 years, a Japanese warship left today for Russia, where it will participate in a naval celebration.

The 5,200-ton destroyer Kurama will join U.S., Chinese and South Korean ships as well as the Russian Pacific fleet in the port of Vladivostok, said Cmdr. Katsuhiro Otsuki of the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Kurama, with a crew of 350, will take part in Sunday's ceremony to mark the tricentennial of the Russian navy's founding, Otsuki said.

Otsuki said a former Japanese Imperial Navy cruiser last visited Russia, also at Vladivostok, in 1925.

Japan and the former Soviet Union never signed a peace treaty after World War II, and a territorial dispute over a chain of northern islands continues. During the Cold War, the Soviets were seen as a threat, and Vladivostok was the target of intelligence scrutiny.