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Seven Russian warships passed near the Izu Islands south of Tokyo this week, the Defense Ministry said, as Japan is on alert over increasing military activity by Russia and China near its territory.

The vessels, which had sailed southward off Hokkaido in the Pacific Ocean, were spotted in the sea near uninhabited islets of the Izu Islands from Thursday into Friday, marking the first instance of Russian warship navigation in the area since last October. At that time, a total of 10 warships from China and Russia passed through while circumnavigating the Japanese archipelago.

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