Tokyo’s Defense Ministry said Monday that 10 Chinese and Russian warships passed through the Tsugaru Strait, located between Japan’s main island of Honshu and Hokkaido to the north.
The passage was the first time the Japanese ministry has acknowledged the path of Chinese and Russian warships through the strait, which is barely 18.7 kilometers wide at its narrowest point.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said Tokyo was closely watching Chinese and Russian vessels.
“[We are] closely watching Chinese and Russian naval vessels’ activities around Japan like this one with high interest,” Isozaki said.
The ministry stated that it initially discovered the ships on Hokkaido’s western coast on Monday morning, some 110 kilometers southwest of Okushiri Island.
Five Chinese vessels, a Renhai class destroyer, a Luyang-III class destroyer; two Jiangkai class frigates; and one Fuchi class replenishment oiler were among the ships passed through.
Meanwhile, the five Russian vessels were two Udaloy class destroyers, two Steregushchiy class frigates, and one Marshal Nedelin class missile-tracking ship.
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