China Finds a Gap in Japan’s Maritime Chokepoints

TOKYO – A flotilla of Chinese warships transited an important ocean strait off Japan’s northernmost island for the first time this week, passing within clear sight of observers onshore.

The PLA Navy vessels had just completed a major training exercise with Russian warships nearby and were using the Soya Strait to head into the far Pacific. It was just the latest Chinese excursion through narrow and potentially-strategic transit points in and around Japan’s home islands, and another example of China’s growing assertiveness in the region. Continue reading