Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has sent a vessel to China for the first time in more than seven years in a sign of improving relations between the two countries.
The destroyer Suzutsuki arrived in the port city of Qingdao in Shandong Province on Sunday ahead of an international naval review that will be held on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Navy.
This is the first time since December 2011 that a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel has made a port call in China.
Chief of Staff Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura will visit the country from Monday. He will be the first MSDF head to do so in five years. Admiral Yamamura will attend the review and a conference with the naval leaders of other countries.
More than 10 nations, including Russia, India and South Korea, are also sending ships to take part in the review.
China is believed to have invited them to show its readiness for international cooperation amid the growing wariness about the country's naval capabilities.
The United States took part in China's first international naval review a decade ago, but decided not to send any vessels this time.