Japan scrambled jets to intercept a Chinese plane over the disputed Senkaku Islands.
Ria Novosti reported:
Japan scrambled fighter jets on Saturday to intercept a Chinese plane that flew near a chain of islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, NHK Television reported.
The jets were alerted when a Chinese maritime aircraft flew about 120 km north of the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, a Japanese Defense Ministry spokesman said.
The Chinese Y-12 twin-turboprop later left the zone without entering Japanese airspace over the islands, he added.
This is the first time Japanese fighters have been scrambled this year to head off Chinese aircraft approaching the islands, the spokesman said.
Japan released a Chinese fishing crew earlier this week after they were caught fishing in the disputed waters.
Last year thousands of people protested in the streets of China and Hong Kong against Japan’s claim to a contested island territory after 150 Japanese activists raised their country’s flag on the disputed Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands