Fighter jets of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force were scrambled in response to the takeoff of a Chinese helicopter from the deck of a warship, which, along with other Chinese and Russian warships, was passing near the Danjo Islands, the Japanese defense ministry said on Saturday.
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According to the ministry, 10 Chinese and Russian warships sailed through the Osumi Strait and at around 10 a.m local time (01:00 GMT) the Japanese military registered that a helicopter took off and landed from the deck of a Chinese destroyer 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of the Danjo Islands.
“In connection with the takeoff and landing of the… helicopter, the fighters were scrambled on alarm,” the ministry says in a statement.
The ministry noted it was the same warship, from the deck of which a helicopter took off on Thursday in the Izu archipelago area.
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Earlier on Saturday, the Russian defense ministry said that Russian and Chinese warships conducted the first joint patrol in the Pacific Ocean from October 17-23. The vessels traversed the Tsugaru Strait in the Sea of Japan.
Since the strait between Japan’s Honshu and Hokkaido islands is international, the passage of foreign ships, including military ones, is permitted by international law.
“The warships of the Russian Navy and the Chinese naval forces conducted the first patrol in the western Pacific Ocean from October 17-23,” the ministry said in a statement.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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