Tokyo [Japan], October 26 (ANI): Five Russian Navy ships entered the Sea of Japan through Tsushima Strait after sailing around most of the Japanese archipelago with Chinese ships, the Japenese Ministry informed on Monday.
The ministry is analysing the reason behind the latest development. The 10 Russian and Chinese ships are believed to include vessels that took part in a joint drill conducted by the two countries in the Sea of Japan in mid-October, according to the ministry.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted five Russian navy ships sailing in a northeasterly direction some 140 kilometres southwest of Tsushima, in Nagasaki Prefecture, at around 10 p.m. on Saturday and they later entered the Sea of Japan, Kyodo News reported.
At around 10 a.m. on Sunday, a helicopter was seen taking off and landing on a frigate, one of the five Russian ships, some 60 km northeast of Tsushima.
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi expressed concern about the activities of the Russian and Chinese vessels in a meeting at his ministry with U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro.
"The security situation surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe," Kishi said, as he also touched on North Korea's recent test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Forming a flotilla, the 10 navy vessels passed through the Tsugaru Strait, located between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido on Oct. 18.
After transiting the strait, the warships entered the East China Sea. The patrol was held right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan from October 14 to 17, Chinese state media tabloid Global Times reported.
The Russian defence ministry said that the vessels traversed the Sea of Japan as part of the patrol and practised joint tactical manoeuvring. Russia was represented by 10 ships of the Pacific Fleet, while five vessels took part in the patrol from the Chinese side. (ANI)