Japan's Defense Ministry will send a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel to China to take part in an international fleet review next month. This will be the first dispatch of an MSDF vessel to China in seven-and-a-half years.
Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters on Friday that the ministry will send a destroyer to the naval event in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on April 23. The review is being held to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Navy.
Japan's government has informed South Korea that it will not send a vessel to the country's fleet review after considering Seoul's request not to fly the Maritime Self-Defense Force's official flag at the naval event that begins next Thursday.
South Korea had asked Japan's MSDF not to display the ensign. It said the "Rising Sun" flag reminds South Koreans and some Asian neighbors of Japanese militarism before and during World War Two, when it was used by the Japanese Imperial Navy.