Chinese and Russian ships sail near Japan, Japanese Defense Ministry says
People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy warships have made independent transits around Japan in recent days, Japan’s Defense Ministry said this week.
Japan spotted a Russian Navy corvette at 6 p.m. Friday sailing east in an area 50 kilometers from Cape Soya, according to one of three new releases Monday from the Ministry of Security’s Joint Staff Office (JSO). defense.
The image and pennant number provided in the release identified the corvette as RFS MPK-107 (332). The corvette then transited through the La Pérouse Strait, which separates Hokkaido from the Russian island of Sakhalin, and sailed into the Sea of Okhotsk. Japan’s Defense Ministry said the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120) was monitoring the Russian corvette.
A PLAN Luyang III-class destroyer was spotted transiting the Miyako Strait between Okinawa and Miyako Island at 9 a.m. Saturday before sailing into the Pacific Ocean, according to the JSO’s second press release. . The image and pennant number provided identify the destroyer as CNS Nankeen (155).
A PLAN Jiangkai II-class frigate was spotted sailing south in waters about 80 kilometers west of Uotsuri Island, which is part of the disputed Senkaku Islands held by Japan and claimed by China and Taiwan, at 6 a.m. Sunday. The image and pennant number provided by the MoD identifies the vessel as CNS Anyang (599). The PLAN frigate sailed south through the waters between Yonaguni Island, part of the Yaeyama Islands group, and Taiwan, then into the Pacific Ocean.
The Japanese MoD also said that the two PLAN ships were being watched by JS destroyers Yamagiri (DD-152) and JS Sawagiri (DD-157) and JS tanker Tokiwa (AOE-423).
Meanwhile, at 11:00 a.m. Monday, a PLAN Shupang-class survey vessel carrying pennant number 25 was seen sailing northwest in waters 80 kilometers south-southwest of Yonaguni Island, according to the third press release. The survey vessel then sailed north through the waters between Yonaguni Island and Taiwan and into the East China Sea.
Japan previously sighted Shupang 25 on July 27 with Shupang 23 in waters northwest of Yokodate Island, according to the Defense Ministry statement. Last week, the two ships passed through the Osumi Strait the next day. Tokiwa monitored the survey vessel’s Monday transit.
A PLAN Shupang-class hydrographic survey vessel carrying pennant number 22 sailed east through the La Pérouse Strait in the Sea of Okhotsk at 6 p.m. Monday, according to a Tuesday statement from the JSO. The JSO also noted that Shupang 22 was seen transiting the Tsushima Strait on Friday. A JMSDF P-3C Orion from Fleet Air Wing 2 operating from JMSDF Hachinohe Air Base in Honshu monitored the movements of the sounding vessel on Monday.
Although the passages of Russian and Chinese vessels are in accordance with international law, Japan is concerned about the activities of vessels from both countries in its vicinity. Japan’s recent 2022 Defense White Paper, released on July 22, details the threats posed to Japan by Russia, China and North Korea. Japanese Defense Minister Nobou Kishi has repeatedly said that Japan will continuously monitor the military activities of the three countries in its vicinity.
The moves came amid reports that House Speaker’s Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would be visiting Taiwan this week. Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, making the president the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years.
China has expressed its opposition to the potential visit, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying on Monday that Beijing is “fully prepared for any eventuality and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and we Resolve resolutely and take strong countermeasures to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
American amphibious warfare ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7), with embarked Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, and aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) are operating near Taiwan this week as part of the speaker’s potential visit, USNI News reported Monday.
In other developments on Sunday, the JMSDF said the destroyer JS Kirisame (DD-104), which is the second surface force of the JMSDF Indo-Pacific Deployment 2022 (IPD22), conducted resupply training on Saturday with the United States Navy dry cargo ship USNS Caesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) around Micronesia. Kirisame, from Friday to Sunday, conducted training with the Federated States of Micronesia Maritime and Border Control Department Operations Center, according to a separate Monday press release from the JMSDF. Kirisame will call at the port of Honiara, Solomon Islands, from August 6 to 8,
IPD 22 is a four-plus-month deployment throughout the Indo-Pacific region from June 13 to October 28 and is comprised of two surface forces supported by a submarine and a P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) at some of his commitments.
The first surface force, consisting of the helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) and destroyer JS Takanami (DD-110), are currently in Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022.
July 30, #IPD22 the second surface unit JS KIRISAME conducted a bilateral exercise with @USNavy. JMSDF enhances the ability of the Japan-US Alliance for effective deterrence and response, and contributes to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
— Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (@jmsdf_pao_eng) August 1, 2022