The U.S. Navy has conducted a so-called freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near disputed waters in the Sea of Japan, it said Thursday, to challenge "excessive maritime claims" made by Russia in the area.

On Wednesday, the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell, which is forwards-deployed to the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, "sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other Nations," U.S. Navy Lt. Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement.

The move was likely to anger Russia, which headquarters its Pacific Fleet in the eastern port city of Vladivostok, located in Peter the Great Bay, the largest gulf in the Sea of Japan.