Chinese, Russian Warships Continue to Circle Japan, Defense Minister Says
24 June 2022
By: Dzirhan Mahadzir
An uptick in Russian and Chinese warship movements near Japan are a part of an ongoing military demonstration toward Tokyo, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobou Kishi said this week.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy and the Russian Pacific fleet have, since mid-June, sent two separate surface action groups around the Japanese home islands.
“The fact that about 10 Russian and Chinese ships sail around Japan on the same route in a short period of time is a display of the military presence of both countries around Japan,” Kishi said.
Seven Russian warships sailed near Hokkaido toward the Izu Islands on June 15. Five of the ships sailed in the waters between Okinawa and Miyakojima toward the East China Sea on June 21. The group sailed through the Tsushima Strait toward the Sea of Japan, almost making a circle of the Japanese archipelago, he said.
On June 12, four Chinese ships sailed through the Tsushima Strait toward the Sea of Japan, two of which sailed through the Tsugaru Strait and the other two through La Pérouse Strait to the Pacific Ocean. Three of these ships have been operating near around the Izu Islands, similar to the movement of the Russian ships, and were moving around the Japanese archipelago,
“The Ministry of Defense will continue to pay close attention to the trends of the Russian Navy and the Chinese Navy in the waters around Japan, and will make every possible effort to carry out warning and surveillance activities in the sea and airspace around Japan,” Kishi said.
In a response to a media questions as to whether the surveillance activities of the Russian and Chinese activities around Japan would involve the U.S., Kishi replied that the surveillance was a Japan Self Defense Force task.