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Russian spy ship observed operating off Okinawa coast

Date Posted: 2008-08-14

A Russian Navy information collection ship has been tracked as it cruised in waters less than 70 kilometers off Okinawa’s southeast coast.
The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has acknowledged that the vessel operated as close as 30 kilometers to the Okinawa coastline August 6th. The Ministry of Defense was notified August 8th that the ship had spent two days—August 6th and 7th—maneuvering, stopping then moving again, off the coast in Pacific Ocean waters. Officials say it appeared the ship was electronically eavesdropping on U.S. military communications.
The Russian ship was first spotted by the ship convoy Haruyuki. The Defense Ministry says the Russian military has been increasing its military budgets and expanded its activities outside Russian territory. It acknowledged that a Russian ship had been seen near the Izu Archipelago last February, and said Russian action has been prominently increasing in Pacific Ocean waters off Japan’s coast.

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