China's military says its planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website that the long-range exercises staged Friday pitted a red army against a blue one in a simulated bomber attack on a naval task force.

It said the primary ships in the exercise were the Jingzhou, a latest-generation type 054A class stealth frigate of which China is planning to deploy more than two dozen, and the type 052C destroyer Xi'an.

The statement made no mention of what sort of conflict the exercise was intended as a response to, prospective foes or why the Sea of Japan was chosen as the location of the drills. China claims a chain of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan.