The number of emergency take-offs by Air Self-Defense Force jets
against Chinese aircraft sharply increased over the July-September
period, as the Japanese government moved forward with the purchase of
the Senkaku Islands.
Officials at the Defense Ministry say the ASDF scrambled its planes 69
times to intercept Chinese aircraft approaching Japanese airspace
between April and September.
The number of scrambling incidents between April and June was 15. But
the figure for the next 3 months more than tripled to 54 as relations
between Japan and China soured over the issue of the Senkaku Islands.
The ministry officials say many Chinese airplanes entered Japan's air
defense identification zone from the north or the west and turned back
at about 200 kilometers from the Senkaku Islands. They also say many of
the aircraft were patrol or surveillance planes.
The Japanese government purchased 3 of the islands from a private
Japanese owner in September. The islands in the East China Sea are also
claimed by China and Taiwan.
Chief of Staff of the Self-Defense Forces, Shigeru Iwasaki told
reporters on Thursday that Chinese warplanes, as well as navy fleets,
have been stepping up operations in the East China Sea over the past few
Iwasaki said it will be important for Japan's warning and surveillance
activities to investigate their recent activities and analyze them from
Oct. 18, 2012 - Updated 11:19 UTC (20:19 JST)
|Liveleak on Facebook|