Home > News > World
Wednesday April 9, 2014 MYT 7:25:01 PM
Wednesday April 9, 2014 MYT 7:26:00 PM
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese fighter jet scrambles against Chinese planes hit a record high in the year that ended in March, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday, as Sino-Japanese ties were strained by disputes over territory and interpretations of history.
Japan scrambled combat planes against Chinese aircraft 415 times during the year, up 36 percent from a year earlier. It was the highest number since the ministry started disclosing country-specific figures in 2001.
Relations have been plagued by China's memories of Japan's occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two and conflicting claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets.
Tensions mounted further after China in November declared an air defence identification zone covering a large swathe of the East China Sea, including the disputed isles, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit in December to Yasukuni Shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression.
"As for China, we understand they are keeping up vigorous activities," Akira Asai, public affairs director of the Defence Ministry's Joint Staff, told a briefing.
Over the past year, Chinese fighter jets and other planes appear to have expanded their range of activities, Asai said.
In one such instance, a Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning plane flew for the first time through international airspace near Japan's southern islands over the Pacific last July and took the same route back over the East China Sea.
Scrambles against Russian planes rose 45 percent to 359 times during the year, also a record. As a result, Japan's total scrambles came to 810 to hit a 24-year high.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Japan's scrambles against Chinese planes soar
Number of Japan jets scrambled against China planes doubles
Japan fighters scramble record number of times
Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China withdraws footage
China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles
Spain's Catalonia court to probe region head over independence vote
Elton John’s star-studded wedding ceremony
Ukraine threatens to cut off power to rebel-held regions if usage not curbed
Germany sees no need to ease Russia sanctions despite minister's concerns
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
Esmelda – remember this gymnast’s name
In United States, drones take off as Christmas gifts
Remembering Tsunami 2004: Phuket orphanage rises from devastation
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)