December 6, 2023

Japan’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that three Russian warships sailed through an adjacent sea area on the border with Japanese territorial waters Monday night, noting that the ships traveled near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands and claimed by China.

“The three ships sailed north between the islands of Kobagima and Taishogima, part of the Senkaku chain in Okinawa Prefecture, towards the East China Sea,” the Japanese Ministry of Defense said on July 5. mentioned From the Japanese Nippon News website.

One of the three ships sailed in the immediate area on Monday morning [July 4]which was followed by a Chinese warship, whose move sparked a protest from the Japanese government,” Nippon noted on July 5.

The news outlet referred to an incident in which a Chinese warship appeared to be “ChaseA Russian frigate for several minutes on the morning of July 4 near the Japanese territorial waters around Senkakus.

“The Russian ship stayed in the water from 7:05 AM to 8:16 AM and appears to have done so to avoid a hurricane, [Japan defense] A ministry official said, “according to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.

The Japanese government described the incident as an “apparent attempt”. [by China] To prove to others that Beijing has sovereignty over the islands controlled by Tokyo [Senkakus]. “

As Nippon noted on Tuesday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest over the July 4 maritime incident between Russia and China with Beijing, expressing “grave concern” over the matter.

“Japan has refrained from protesting to Russia because it does not claim the islands and because the Russian frigate apparently entered the area adjacent to escape from a typhoon,” a Japanese Foreign Ministry source said on Monday, according to Kyodo News Agency.

Beijing claims ownership of the Tokyo-administered Senkaks and refers to the chain of uninhabited islands as “Diaoyu”. Senkakus are small islands strategically located near disputed natural gas deposits and Taiwan. Likewise, the sovereign island state of Taiwan claimed by Beijing as legitimate Chinese territory.

Beijing has ordered several naval and coast guard ships to sail through waters near Japan in recent weeks in what Tokyo interprets as a form of intimidation. China regularly harasss Japan near the Senkaku, but has recently intensified its activities in the waters around the islands in protest of Tokyo’s increasingly overt support for Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Kyodo News reported at the time that a fleet of Chinese Navy ships completed its circumnavigation of the Japanese archipelago on June 30 after entering the waters near Japan’s Tsushima Strait for the first time on June 12.

Personnel of the Chinese Navy stand on the deck of the guided-missile destroyer Suzhou (HAL 132) of the accompanying task force at a military port on May 18, 2022 in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The Tokyo-based news agency detailed the mission of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), Reports:

two [Chinese] Guided missile destroyers and a supply ship sailed through the waters between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island in southwest Japan and entered the East China Sea on Thursday. [June 30] After touring around the country for about 20 days, the ministry is analyzing China’s intentions, according to [Japan defense] The Ministry’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces ships and aircraft have been vigilantly watching the Chinese Navy’s fleet, which was seen sailing in the Sea of ​​Japan after passing through the Tsushima Strait off Japan’s southern island of Kyushu on June 12-13 and going around the archipelago. clockwise, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said on July 5 that it had spotted one of the PLAN ships that recently cruised around the Japanese archipelago in waters near the Senkaku.

“[A] A Chinese reconnaissance ship sailed north between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima island on Tuesday morning [July 5]. Japan’s Nippon News Agency reported that the ship has circled the Japanese archipelago since June.

Russian warships also recently completed a half-circle around the Japanese archipelago, according to Nippon. The news site reported Tuesday that the Japanese government saw a Russian naval fleet sailing “off the southeast coast of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, on June 15,” adding that this unit “later went halfway around the Japanese archipelago.”

Russia and China have coordinated in recent weeks to hold joint military exercises near Japan. the two peoples Organizer Overhead bridge consisting of “four Chinese H-6 and two Russian Tu-95 bombers […] About Japan and the Republic of Korea” on May 24, USNI News reported.

The joint flights took place on the same day that US President Joe Biden met his Australian, Indian and Japanese Quartet counterparts in Tokyo, although the Russian and Chinese defense ministries said the flights were part of their annual military cooperation plan rather than directed. the US Navy at the time.

The Japanese government reported on July 5 that two Chinese Coast Guard ships were on board intrusive in Japanese territorial waters near Senkakus earlier that day and harassing a Japanese fishing boat.

“The Japanese Coast Guard said the intrusion, the 15th this year and the first since June 23, happened around 4:35 a.m. after Chinese ships tracked a Japanese fishing boat,” Kyodo News reported.

“The patrol boats ordered the two Chinese ships to immediately leave the waters near the group of uninhabited islands,” the news agency reported.

Japan and Russia are technically at war, as the two countries did not sign a peace agreement following World War II. They failed to do so largely due to the failure to resolve a separate maritime dispute over the Kuril Islands, which are administered by Russia but claimed by Japan.

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