Japan expressed “grave concern” after Chinese and Russian warships sailed close to its southern islands on Thursday, just a day before its leader is expected to discuss rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific at a summit with counterparts from South Korea and the United States.
Six Chinese ships, among them missile destroyers, and five Russian vessels, some of them destroyers, sailed between Japan’s Okinawa Island and Miyako Island before moving toward the East China Sea on Thursday, according to Japan’s defense ministry.
Japan’s relations with Russia have deteriorated since the Kremlin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began 18 months ago. Tokyo has joined its Western allies in imposing sanctions on Moscow and pledged billions in humanitarian aid for Kyiv.
China, meanwhile, has strengthened political and economic ties with Russia, despite maintaining it remains a neutral party in the conflict and a proponent of peace.
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