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The Japan News/Yomiuri
The Japan News/Yomiuri
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Chinese carrier fleet sails near Okinawa

A Chinese Navy fleet of six warships, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, sailed through waters between Okinawa and Miyako islands, both in Okinawa Prefecture, into the Pacific Ocean on Friday, the Defense Ministry announced on the day.

The fleet did not intrude into Japanese territorial waters. The Maritime Self-Defense Force deployed aircraft, including a P-1 patrol plane, to monitor the situation.

It was a movement of unprecedented scale for a Chinese Navy fleet, and the ministry was analyzing the Chinese side's intentions.

According to the ministry, the Chinese fleet including the Liaoning sailed southward in waters about 440 kilometers off Fukue Island in Nagasaki Prefecture around 10 a.m. Thursday, and conducted takeoff and landing operations of the carrier's helicopters in the East China Sea on Friday. Then the fleet headed for the Pacific Ocean.

In May this year, the Liaoning carried out more than 300 takeoff and landing drills over a period of more than half a month in the Pacific Ocean near Okinawa Island.

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