Tokyo [Japan], October 23 (ANI): Japan on Saturday scrambled its fighter jets in response to the takeoff of a Chinese helicopter from the deck of a warship, which, along with other Chinese and Russian warships, was passing near an Island chain in the East China Sea.
Chinese and Russian naval vessels have passed together through the Osumi Strait off Japan's southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, Kyodo News quoted the Japanese Defense Ministry as saying.
The Japanese publication said it is the first time a flotilla of Chinese and Russian vessels went through the strait, located between the Osumi Peninsula and Tanegashima Island.
The defence ministry said that a helicopter took off and landed from the deck of a Chinese destroyer 130 kilometres (81 miles) south of the Danjo Islands. "In connection with the takeoff and landing of the... helicopter, the fighters were scrambled on alarm," the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier today, Russian and Chinese warships conducted the first joint patrol in the Pacific Ocean.
"The tasks of the joint patrolling were to demonstrate the state flags of Russia and China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and also protect facilities of both countries' maritime economic activity. During the patrol, the group of warships passed through the Tsugaru Strait for the first time," the statement issued by the Russian Defence Ministry said.
The patrol was held right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan from October 14 to 17, Chinese state media tabloid Global Times reported.
According to the Chinese military experts, the joint sea patrol for the first time has built on enhanced military cooperation between the two strategic partners.
The Russian defence ministry said that the vessels traversed the Sea of Japan as part of the patrol and practised joint tactical manoeuvring. Russia was represented by 10 ships of the Pacific Fleet, while five vessels took part in the patrol from the Chinese side.
Earlier this month, Russia and China held a naval exercise Maritime Interaction-2021 in the Sea of Japan from October 14-17. The crews worked out joint tactical manoeuvring, anti-mine support of detachments, as well as conducted artillery fire at sea targets, among other things, according to the Russian military. (ANI)