Canadian navy frigate makes port call in Okinawa

A Canadian navy frigate has made a port call at a US naval base in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Okinawa, amid China's increasingly assertive maritime activities in the East and South China seas.

The Canadian Royal Navy's Winnipeg docked at the US White Beach Naval Facility in Uruma City.

The Canadian military says the Winnipeg has been on a surveillance mission in waters near Japan since September to monitor North Korea's illicit activities, including ship-to-ship transfers.

Last month, the Winnipeg took part in joint drills by six countries, including Japan, the United States and Britain, in waters southwest of Okinawa. It also navigated the Taiwan Strait with a US naval vessel.

Commander Doug Layton of the Winnipeg said the ongoing "Operation Projection" shows Canada's commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.

He also said the operation shows "our commitment to work with our allies and partners in the Pacific region, ensuring interoperability so that we are able to work in case of crisis." He stressed Canada's role in ensuring peace and stability in the region alongside the US and other nations.

Various countries are increasing their involvement in the region's security. Last month, the French navy dispatched a surveillance aircraft to the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa.