Japan has dismissed China’s allegations that its Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets were engaged in close-range interference against the Chinese military plane on Saturday.
“I have received a report that the Japanese planes did not conduct any close-range interference against the Chinese military planes … or threaten the safety of the Chinese military planes or their personnel,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was quoted as saying by The Japan Times on Monday.
China’s defense ministry issued a statement on Saturday that two Japanese F-15 fighters launched decoy flares at the Air Force aircraft that were flying over the Miyako Strait for routine offshore training in western Pacific Ocean on December 10.
However, Suga denied ASDF fighters launched “jamming shells” as claimed by the Chinese ministry.
The Defense Ministry in Tokyo maintained that there was no violation of Japanese airspace. Ministry said the ASDF fighters scrambled “in compliance with strict procedures that are based on international law and the law governing the Self-Defense Forces”, after six Chinese military aircraft flew through the strategically important Miyako Strait.
The ministry’s Joint Staff Office said that the six Chinese planes consisted of two Su-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers, one Tu-154 surveillance plane and one Y-8 surveillance plane.
Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said Tokyo will keep a steady eye on the “expanding and increasing” actions of the Chinese military in the area.
Meanwhile, China defends scrambling its aircraft in the Miyako Strait stating that the region is part of international waters, and its Air Force training is part of annual plan which is not aimed at any particular country or target, and is consistent with international law and practices.