Japan scrambled jets over 1,000 times amid Chinese, Russian air activity
Japan's defence minister Nobuo Kishi said that 'intensified activities' by Chinese jets were mainly for 'intelligence gathering' which had become 'diversified and sophisticated'.
According to reports, Japan scrambled fighter jets 1,004 times last year against approaching aircraft.
Japan's defence ministry said the heightened air activity was due to China's reported incursions. The ministry informed the Japanese jets were scambled on 725 occasions a year earlier.
Japan scrambled its jets 722 times against incoming Chinese aircraft up from 458 a year earlier. The Japanese defence minister said China had "rapidly developed unmanned aircraft".
Russia was ranked second in air incursions into Japan with Japanese jets being scrambled 266 times to thwart the aggressive threat.
Japan's defence minister Nobuo Kishi said that "intensified activities" by Chinese jets were mainly for "intelligence gathering" which had become "diversified and sophisticated." The minister added Russia maintained its activities despite the Ukraine war which is currently underway.
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Japan's Southwestern Air Defense Force which controls the Okinawa prefecture was involved 652 times during the Chinese air incursions in 2021. The air defence zone also overseas the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
The ministry informed that China Coast Guard ships have also repeatedly intruded into its territorial waters along Senkakus which China calls Diaoyu.
The Japanese ministry confirmed that Chinese and Russian bombers had conducted joint flights over the Sea of Japan in November including in the East China Sea and the Pacific.
(With inputs from Agencies)