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Indo-Pacific

Chinese aircraft carrier and 5 ships pass Okinawa on way to Pacific

Japan monitors group with destroyer and aircraft, days after joint US exercise

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning sails into Hong Kong in July 2017. Japan reported April 4 that a carrier group led by the Liaoning sailed between Japan's Okinawa and Miyako islands.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and five escort vessels have passed through a key waterway off Japan on their way to the Pacific Ocean, the Joint Staff Office of the Japanese Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The carrier group was spotted around 8 a.m. Saturday roughly 470 km southwest of Nagasaki Prefecture's Danjo Islands, the joint staff said. The convoy then passed through the Miyako Strait, the 250 km-wide waterway between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island.

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