Japan’s Defense Min Nobuo Kishi says China-Russia ships passage display ‘show of force’

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According to the reports, Kishi said the latest action of Russia and China underscores the growing list of security challenges in the region. 


Image: AP/ANI

Reacting to the sailing of five Russian warships into the Sea of Japan through Tsushima Strait during drills in the East China Sea, the head of the Japanese defence ministry, Nobuo Kishi, said both the countries displayed an unprecedented “show of force”, reported Kyodo News on Tuesday. According to the reports, Kishi said the latest action of Russia and China underscores the growing list of security challenges in the region. The statement from the head of the Japanese defence ministry came after it confirmed the reports of Chinese and Russian naval vessels passing together through the Osumi Strait off Japan’s southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima on Saturday. Notably, it was the first time the Japanese ministry has confirmed a flotilla of Chinese and Russian vessels going through the strait, as per the news agency company.

During a press conference, Kishi noted that the incident demonstrated the increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan. It is worth mentioning Osumi Strait is a strait between Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan connecting the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean. With the passage, the flotilla almost made a circle around the Japanese archipelago, prompting the ministry to exercise vigilance against the unusual activity of the two countries. Expressing grave concern regarding Russia and China’s actions, news agency Sputnik said that the Defence Chief said,

“We are watching very closely with high interest and we have expressed our concerns through diplomatic channels to both the Chinese and the Russian side. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

Development came when Tokyo tried to solve the disputed island issue 

Notably, the development came at a time when the newly-elected Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tried resolving the issue of the disputed island with Russia. Japan has been consistent with its position on the issue of ownership of four disputed islands. Both nations have a decades-old territorial controversy regarding the autonomy of the four islands— Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai— which the Soviet Union captured in 1945. Subsequently, Tokyo surrendered in front of the Soviet Union. Since then, Japan has been trying to re-capture the island that currently falls under the jurisdiction of Russia. They (Japan) argues the expansion was unconstitutional and demand their return, while Russia says it was a legitimate consequence of the war.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Image: AP/ANI)

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