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Chinese drones were operating near Japan this week, prompting Japanese defense officials to dispatch aircraft and naval ships to monitor the situation, according to media reports.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been transiting the Miyako Strait from the East China Sea into the Pacific and returning the same way, USNI News reported. The Miyako Strait is a waterway between Miyako Island and Okinawa.
Meanwhile, Chinese warships were also seen in the East China Sea after two weeks near the Philippines.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Liaoning Carrier Strike Group (CSG) was likely heading home after a brief patrol, according to the news outlet.
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Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning sails through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa on their way to the Pacific in this handout photo taken by Japan Self-Defense Forces in 2021. China has been operating near Japan in recent weeks, worrying Japanese defense officials.
(Reuters via the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan)
On Monday, Japan said it scrambled fighter jets and dispatched aircraft and warships over the past two weeks to keep tabs on China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier, Reuters reported.
Japan monitored the operations after the Chinese naval group, which included missile destroyers, sailed between the main Okinawa island and Miyakojima island into the Western Pacific from the East China Sea on Dec. 16, Japan’s Ministry of Defence said in a press release.
Tensions between China and Japan have escalated as Beijing has expanded its military exercises and interests farther out into the Pacific.
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“From my point of view, the U.S. and China have been in war,” Yoko Ishii, a Japanese political commentator, told Fox News in November. “America was fighting against terrorism, but now America has shifted the policy to fight against China.”
Ishii said China has ambitions beyond taking Taiwan as it had “invading” the area around Japan’s Senkaku Islands.
“They come into the waters around our territories like every day, and they do that to make it seem like they own the place,” Ishii said. “China is gradually just coming toward the Pacific Ocean.”
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has accused China of infringing on its sovereignty as the eastern powers grow increasingly aggressive. Chinese fishing and naval vessels have frequently ventured into Japanese waters in recent months.
Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].