A Chinese naval fleet was Sunday spotted sailing for the first time through an international strait between northern Japan and Russia's far east, the Japanese defence ministry said.
A Chinese maritime surveillance ship sails near a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, October 25, 2012. A Chinese naval fleet has been spotted sailing for the first time through an international strait between northern Japan and Russia's far east, according to the Japanese defence ministry.
The two missile destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship passed through the Soya Strait from the Sea of Japan to the Sea of Okhotsk early Sunday, the ministry said.
The channel, also known as La Perouse, separates the Russian island of Sakhalin and the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The five ships took part in joint naval exercises with Russia from July 5-12 off Vladivostok.