Chinese drones were operating near Japan this week, prompting Japanese defense officials to send aircraft and naval vessels to monitor the situation, according to media reports.
According to USNI News, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) crossed the Miyako Strait from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean and returned the same way. Miyako Strait is a waterway between Miyako Island and Okinawa.
Meanwhile, after two weeks near the Philippines, Chinese warships were also spotted in the East China Sea.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy Liaoning Carrier Strike Group (CSG) may be heading home after a short patrol, the news agency reported.
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Japan said on Monday it had sent fighter jets and warships to escort China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier over the past two weeks.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said in a press release that on December 16, after a Chinese naval group containing guided-missile destroyers sailed from the East China Sea to the Western Pacific between the main island of Okinawa and the island of Miyakojima, Japan observed the operations.
Tensions between China and Japan have increased as Beijing expands its military exercises and interests into the Pacific Ocean.
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“From my point of view, the US and China are at war,” Japanese political commentator Yoko Ishii told Fox News in November. “America was fighting terrorism, but now America has changed its policy to fight against China.”
Ishii said China has ambitions beyond taking Taiwan because it has “invaded” the area around Japan’s Senkaku Islands.
“They come to the waters around our territories like they do every day, and they do it to make it look like they own the place,” Ishii said. “China is slowly closing in on the Pacific Ocean.”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kisida has accused China of undermining its sovereignty amid growing aggression from eastern powers. Chinese fishing and naval vessels have frequently entered Japanese waters in recent months.