Japan has sent jets more than 1,000 times amid Chinese and Russian air activity

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According to reports, Japan sent 1,004 fighter jets last year against incoming planes.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said the increased air activity was due to incursions reported by China. The ministry said Japanese jets had been hijacked 725 times a year earlier.

Japan scrambled its jets 722 times against incoming Chinese aircraft compared to 458 a year earlier. Japan’s defense minister said China had “rapidly developed unmanned aircraft”.

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Russia was ranked second for aerial incursions into Japan, with Japanese jets dispatched 266 times to thwart the aggressive threat.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the “increased activity” of Chinese aircraft was mainly for “intelligence gathering” which had become “diverse and sophisticated”. The minister added that Russia has maintained its activities despite the war in Ukraine which is currently underway.

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Japan’s Southwest Air Defense Force, which controls Okinawa Prefecture, was involved 652 times in Chinese air incursions in 2021. The Overseas Air Defense Zone also includes the disputed Senkaku Islands in the Sea from eastern China.

The ministry said Chinese coastguard vessels have also repeatedly intruded into its territorial waters along Senkakus, which China calls Diaoyu.

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The Japanese ministry confirmed that Chinese and Russian bombers conducted joint flights over the Sea of ​​Japan in November, including in the East China Sea and the Pacific.

(With agency contributions)

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