Japan says it may fire warning shots and take other measures to keep foreign aircraft from violating its airspace in the latest verbal blast between Tokyo and Beijing that raises concerns that a dispute over hotly contested islands could spin out of control.
Japanese officials made the comments after Chinese fighters tailed its warplanes near the islands recently. The incident is believed to be the first scrambling of Chinese fighters since the tensions began to rise last spring.
According to Chinese media, a pair of J-10 fighters was scrambled after Japanese F-15s began tailing a Chinese surveillance plane near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. China has complained the surveillance flight did not violate Japanese airspace and the F-15s were harassing it.
The territorial standoff between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea further escalated today after a Chinese plane was spotted in what Tokyo considers its airspace.
Though the Chinese plane was not a military aircraft, its presence is the latest provocation in a dispute that has affected economic relations between the two countries and comes just three days before Japanese elections.
The Chinese state maritime agency said that the marine surveillance plane was sent to patrol the disputed islands – known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan – along with four boats, according to China’s Global Times. Japanese boats also patrolling the disputed area were asked to leave immediately, in line with the Chinese government’s stance, the Global Times reports.
An F-15 fighter jets empty fuel tank that crashed to the ground Friday in Ishikawa Prefecture may have exploded after its internal air pressure spiked, according to officials from the Air Self-Defense Forces Komatsu base. An ASDF accident investigation panel is examining the aircraft and fallen debris, and interviewing the pilot, air traffic controller and others to find out what caused the tank and part of a mock air-to-air missile to fall from the plane shortly before it landed at the Komatsu base.
Japan has grounded its F-15 fighters for the second time in three months after a fuel tank and parts of a mock missile fell off a jet on a training mission, officials said Saturday.Japan Air Self-Defense Force officials said that the flight suspension involves all missions except emergency scrambles and will last until the safety of Japans 202 F-15 fighters has been confirmed.No one was injured in Fridays incident near Komatsu base in western Japan and the pilot landed safely. In July, Japans F-15s were grounded after one of the jets crashed into the East China Sea. Though presumed dead, the pilot of that jet is still listed as missing, and the cause of the accident has not been announced.