Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force says it has spotted a Chinese naval fleet in international waters between two southwestern Japanese islands.
According to the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, the 7 vessels navigated between Okinawa's main island and Miyako Island between 6 and 7 PM on Thursday.
It is the first Chinese naval fleet seen in the area since Japan nationalized 3 of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea last month.
The vessels were about 110 kilometers from Miyako Island, heading toward the Pacific from the East China Sea when spotted. The fleet is made up of 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, a supply ship and 2 submarine rescue ships.
China's navy holds drills passing through the area in the Pacific a few times a year. It is 200 kilometers east of the Senkaku Islands.
In late June 3 Chinese naval vessels sailed though the area after carrying out drills in the Pacific.
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