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Chinese naval fleet seen off northern Japan coast

A Chinese naval fleet was on Sunday spotted sailing for the first time through an international strait between northern Japan and Russia’s far east, the Japanese defence ministry said.
The two missile destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship passed through the Soya Strait from the Sea of Japan to the Sea of Okhotsk early on Sunday, the ministry said. The channel, also known as La Perouse, separates the Russian island of Sakhalin and the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The five ships took part in joint naval exercises with Russia from July 5-12 off Vladivostok. Two other Chinese naval ships which also took part in the drills were seen moving into the East China Sea on Saturday. The purpose of the Chinese fleet’s passage through the Soya Strait is not known, Kyodo news agency quoted a ministry official as saying.

On Saturday, a fleet of 16 Russian naval ships was seen moving through the Soya Strait into the Sea of Okhotsk, the ministry said.
China and Russia held the joint naval exercises, amid regional concerns about China’s growing maritime power. 
Agencies

Agencies

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