One of the vessels involved in the patrols is believed to have been a Hyuga-class helicopter carrier. Photo: AP
One of the vessels involved in the patrols is believed to have been a Hyuga-class helicopter carrier. Photo: AP

South China Sea: Japanese warships sailed near Chinese-controlled reefs in Spratly Islands ‘to pressure’ Beijing

  • Vessels from the Maritime Self-Defence Force entered the contiguous zone around disputed islands and reefs at least twice in past 10 months, local media claims
  • Voyages held ‘political meaning’, experts say, and were legal but might not have met the criteria of ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols

One of the vessels involved in the patrols is believed to have been a Hyuga-class helicopter carrier. Photo: AP
One of the vessels involved in the patrols is believed to have been a Hyuga-class helicopter carrier. Photo: AP
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