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China naval fleet seen off northern Japan

Published on Jul 14, 2013 5:53 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A Chinese naval fleet was on Sunday spotted sailing for the first time through an international strait between northern Japan and Russia's far east, the Japanese defence ministry said.

The two missile destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship passed through the Soya Strait from the Sea of Japan to the Sea of Okhotsk early Sunday, the ministry said.

The channel, also known as La Perouse, separates the Russian island of Sakhalin and the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The five ships took part in joint naval exercises with Russia from July 5-12 off Vladivostok.

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