Chinese Aircraft Carrier Spotted near Okinawa
Tokyo, April 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry said Sunday that a fleet of six Chinese navy ships, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, has been spotted sailing south between the main island of Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, and the island of Miyako, also in Okinawa.
It was the first time since April last year that the Liaoning has traveled in the area.
The fleet did not intrude into Japanese territorial waters or the surrounding contiguous zone, according to the ministry.
The fleet included a Renhai-class missile destroyer, one of the largest destroyers for the Chinese Navy. A Renhai-class destroyer was spotted in waters around Japan for the first time on March 18.
According to the ministry's Joint Staff, the six vessels were found at a point some 470 kilometers southwester of the Danjo island chain in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, at around 8 a.m. on Saturday (11 p.m. on Friday GMT). The fleet then headed south between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako toward the Pacific Ocean.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]