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China scrambles jets to intercept Japanese fighters

China and Japan are at it again, this time in the air. China claimed that Japanese military aircrafts went into their airspace in the East China Sea. The response was instant with China scrambling jets. Japan meanwhile defended their actions, saying they were simply flying over international seas and it was the Chinese planes that committed provocative actions by flying too close to their aircraft. China’s Defense Ministry said that two Japanese planes were seen entering their ADIZ on Sunday without asking for permission to do so. The zone was declared last year, despite protests from Japan and the United States among others, requiring all international flights to inform Chinese authorities that they will be passing through. The ministry’s statement called this move by Japan “a serious violation of international laws and standards, which could have easily caused a misunderstanding and even led to a mid-air accident.” The incident happened in the middle of a joint military exercise by the Chinese and Russian navy as part of their plan to “strengthen relations” as the international community has constantly criticized the two countries due to their actions over territorial disputes. Meanwhile, Tokyo denied that they were in violation of international law. Its own Defense Ministry responded saying that the Japanese surveillance aircraft OP-3C was approached by a Chinese fighter jet while it was simply flying over international waters. Japan in return accused China of “dangerous” manoeuvres above disputed areas of the East China Sea, saying a Chinese fighter flew within roughly 30 metres (100 feet) of a Japanese military aircraft. A defence ministry spokesman said a Chinese Su-27 jet on Saturday flew close to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters where the countries’ air defence identification zones overlap. Another Chinese SU-27 fighter also flew close to a Japanese YS-11EB plane in the same airspace, the ministry said. One fighter jet approached to within about 50 metres and the other was as close as 30 metres to the Japanese planes, according to the spokesman.

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