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Chinese warships spotted traveling international waters near Okinawa

Date Posted: 2011-07-01

A total of 11 Chinese warships have been tracked as they moved through international waters near Okinawa Island.

The Japanese Defense Ministry says the vessels have not violated Japanese territorial limits, but noted the maneuvers close to the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are of concern. The ships were observed as they passed from the Pacific Ocean into the East China Sea. Shuichi Fukuya, a ministry spokesman, says Japan believes the warships were heading back to China after participating in refueling operations and target exercises about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) south of Okinawa.

Far to the north, near the earthquake-tsunami stricken east coast of Japan, a Chinese maritime research vessel ventured into Japanís exclusive economic zone for a brief period this week. The Foreign Ministry says the research vessel left the economic zone about four hours after a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship issued a warning.

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