Tokyo [Japan], October 27 (ANI): The Japanese government has said a joint Chinese and Russian naval flotilla seen recently around Japan displays an unprecedented "show of force" which underscores the growing list of security challenges in the region.
Chinese and Russian naval vessels have passed together through the Osumi Strait off Japan's southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima on Monday, Kyodo News reported.
It is the first time the Japanese ministry has confirmed a flotilla of Chinese and Russian vessels going through the strait, located between the Osumi Peninsula and Tanegashima Island, Kyodo News reported.
"This is the first time we have confirmed activity on such a large scale and over such a long period," Japan Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said at a press conference. "We believe this was a show of force toward Japan."
The flotilla is believed to have included ships that took part in a joint drill conducted by China and Russia in the Sea of Japan in mid-October.
Both straits are international waters and foreign ships are allowed to pass through freely.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a separate press conference that Japan told the two countries through diplomatic channels it has a "strong interest" in such activity in surrounding waters. (ANI)