Large Chinese Destroyer Spotted near Japan
Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry said Friday that three Chinese navy ships, including a Renhai-class missile destroyer, have been spotted sailing near Tsushima, an island in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
The three warships did not intrude into Japanese territorial waters, according to the ministry. Renhai is one of the largest destroyer classes in China.
The ministry's Joint Staff said that a P-1 patrol aircraft of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and two MSDF ships found the three Chinese warships traveling northeast at a point some 250 kilometers southwest of Tsushima around 11 a.m. Thursday (2 a.m. GMT). It was the first time for the MSDF to spot a Renhai-class destroyer.
Toward Friday, the Chinese vessels sailed north in the Tsushima Strait, which lies between Kyushu, one of Japan's four main islands, which includes Nagasaki, and the Korean Peninsula, and headed for the Sea of Japan, the Joint Staff said.
According to the ministry's 2020 defense white paper, the first of the Renhai-class destroyers was commissioned in January last year, and it is believed that a Renhai ship is equipped with 112 missile vertical launch cells and capable of launching long-range anti-surface cruise missiles.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]