Japan Tracks Eight Russian And Chinese Warships Near Its Territory

 Seoul, South Korea: At least eight Chinese and Russian warships have been spotted in the seas near the country of Japan in this week, another sign of the apparent pressure the 2 partners have been putting on Tokyo as relations deteriorate over Taiwan and Ukraine respectively.

The People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer Lhasa is seen in an image released by Japan's Defense Ministry.

On Tuesday Japan's Defense Ministry said its forces had observed 5 Russian warships led by an anti-submarine destroyer steaming through the Tsushima Strait, which separates South Korea and Japan.

The five-ship Russian flotilla has been close to the Japanese islands for a week, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, the ministry said in a news release.

Meanwhile, On Tuesday at least 2 Chinese warships and a supply ship were spotted in the Izu Islands, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the capital Tokyo. One of those ships appeared to be the Lhasa, a Type fifty-five guided-missile destroyer and 1 of China's most powerful surface ships.

The ministry said that group has been operating in waters near the Japan country since June 12.

The Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Panteleyev is seen in this image released by Japan's Defense Ministry.

This is an obvious show of force from both China and Russia," said James Brown, associate professor of political science at Temple University in Tokyo.

These activities are a main worry for the country of Japan. Not least, tracking the movements of both Chinese and Russian military forces are a strain on the resources of the Japan Self Defense Forces.

"There was no claim from Tokyo that the Chinese and Russian naval groups were coordinating their actions, like they did last October when a total of ten Chinese and Russian warships jointly participated in exercises in which they circumnavigated much of the Japanese archipelago.

More recently, as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted a summit of the leaders of the USA, India and Australia in Tokyo, the Russian and Chinese air forces conducted joint strategic air patrols over the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, in what the Chinese Defense Ministry called part of an annual military cooperation plan.

Brown said Kishida's hosting of that summit was just 1 reason Beijing would want to show its displeasure with the Tokyo.

"Beijing has been angered by Japanese statements regarding the security of Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party considers a domestic matter," Brown said.

In fact, it was at the Tokyo summit that President Joe Biden said the USA would intervene militarily if China attempts to take Taiwan by force. The White House later walked back that comment, but the United States does maintain a powerful military presence in the country of Japan -- troops that could come into play in any conflict over Taiwan.

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