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.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Talk of Warning Shots Heats up China Dispute.
Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday to head off a number of Chinese military planes near islands at the centre of a territorial dispute, Japanese media said.
The Chinese planes were spotted on Japanese military radar north of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China, the Fuji TV network reported, quoting Japanese government officials.
They did not violate territorial airspace over the islands but flew inside Japan’s so-called air defence identification zone, the report said.
The Japanese defence ministry press office did not confirm the report.
The Chinese planes were gone when F-15 jet fighters from an airbase on Japan’s main Okinawan island reached the area, the report said, adding the Chinese flights continued until about 5:00 pm (0800 GMT).
Chinese government ships and planes have been seen off the disputed islands numerous times since Japan nationalised them in September, sometimes within the 12 nautical-mile territorial zone.
Japan dispatched fighter jets last month after a Chinese state-owned plane breached airspace over the islands.
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.
Read the rest of the story: Japan scrambles F-15s after China flies over disputed islands.
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.
Read the rest of the story: Japan grounds F-15s after fuel tank falls off.