/USS John S. McCain challenges Russia’s claims to Peter the Great Bay in Sea of Japan
USS John S. McCain challenges Russia’s claims to Peter the Great Bay in Sea of Japan

USS John S. McCain challenges Russia’s claims to Peter the Great Bay in Sea of Japan


USS John S. McCain challenges Russia’s claims to Peter the Great Bay in Sea of Japan
By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES
This story has been updated.
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – The Navy on Tuesday sent another warship to challenge maritime claims in the Western Pacific, this time in an area claimed by Russia, according to a 7th Fleet spokesman.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, based at Yokosuka, “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan,” with a freedom of navigation operation aimed at challenging Russia’s “excessive maritime claims,” Lt. Joe Keiley said in the statement. Named for Czar Peter the Great, who ruled Russia from 1682 to 1725, the bay is the largest in the Sea of Japan and comprises about 377,600 square miles.
The Soviet Union in 1984 claimed the bay as its internal waters, drawing a 106-nautical-mile line from its adjacent coasts to enclose the bay. After the Soviet Union’s fall, Russia continued the claim, which the Navy said is “inconsistent with the rules of international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention to enclose the waters of a bay,” Keiley said. “By drawing this closing line, the U.S.S.R. attempted to claim more internal waters – and territorial sea farther from shore – than it is entitled to claim under international law,” he said in the statement.
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