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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japan conducts its own “freedom of navigation operations” in South China Sea 

Tuesday’s Yomiuri gave top play to the finding from several GOJ sources that MSDF escort ships have sailed in the high seas near outcrops and artificial islands in the South China Sea claimed by China several times since March 2021. The paper said that just like the United States’ “Freedom of Navigation Operations” in the area, the move is aimed at keeping in check China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo. The daily called the move a Japanese version of the U.S. freedom of navigation operations, adding that a senior MOD official stressed that it is aimed at warning China, which is violating international law, to uphold freedom of navigation and maritime law.  

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