Wed, 17 Aug 2022

Beijing [China], July 3 (ANI): At least eight Russian and Chinese warships have been spotted in the seas near Japan this week, signalling the apparent pressure the two nations have been putting on Tokyo as the relations deteriorate over Ukraine and Taiwan respectively, as per media reports.

According to Japan's Defense Ministry, five Russian warships led by an anti-submarine destroyer steaming through the Tsushima Strait, which separates Japan and South Korea.

The five-ship Russian flotilla has been near Japanese islands for a week, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, the ministry said in a statement cited by CNN.

Meanwhile, at least two Chinese warships and a supply ship were spotted last Tuesday in the Izu Islands, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the capital Tokyo. One of those ships appeared to be the Lhasa, a Type 55 guided-missile destroyer and one of China's most powerful surface ships.

Amidst the escalating tensions with China, Japan is holding intense discussions on increasing defence budget and developing nuclear-powered submarines over the disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Prior to that, two Chinese vessels have entered Japan's territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands on May 9.

Japan controls the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

Both Asian economic powerhouses have extended territorial claims over the Senkaku Islands. Japan insists on its sovereignty over the islands.

It insists on its sovereignty over the islands, effective since 1895, while China points to the 1783 and 1785 Japanese maps designating the islands as Chinese territory.

This dispute escalated in 2012 when the Japanese government purchased three of the five islands from the private owner.

Meanwhile, the Quad summit hosted by Japan in Tokyo last month launched satellite-based maritime security initiative aimed to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"The benefit of this maritime initiative will allow tracking of dark shipping and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners' ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies," the White House in a media statement has said on the sidelines of Quad Summit in May. (ANI)

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