Tokyo, Oct 19 (EFE).- The Japanese Defense Ministry announced Tuesday the detection of some dozen Russian and Chinese military vessels crossing the Tsugaru Strait, north of the Japanese archipelago.
The incident marks the first time that such joint maneuvers between the two countries have been observed in the area.
The warships crossed the less than 19-kilometer wide strait – separating the island of Honshu, the largest of the Japanese archipelago, and Hokkaido -, which is considered non-territorial waters for being considered an international maritime passage.
Despite not being a violation of its territorial waters, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said it was “analyzing” the reasons for the first recorded Russian and Chinese naval deployment in the area.
The Japanese government is paying close attention to the activities of Russia and China in the area and continues its surveillance of the waters and airspace around its territory, according to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki at a press conference.
The Russian and Chinese ships, which included frigates and destroyers, were detected on Monday, and Japanese state broadcaster NHK captured and broadcast images of the ships.
The ships are believed to have been a be part of the joint military exercises between China and Russia in the Sea of Japan during Oct.14-17.
Japan also participated last week in naval maneuvers with the United States, Australia and India – the countries that make up the so-called “Quad” – in the Pacific, amid growing tensions in the region over growing Chinese assertiveness and belligerence in the region and around Taiwan. EFE