Japan denies its fighter jets endangered Chinese aircraft
Iran Press TV
Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:7AM
Japan says it has filed a strong protest with China over Beijing's allegation that Japanese warplanes had endangered Chinese military aircraft over the East China Sea.
China's Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun had said two Japanese F-15s launched "decoy flares" as six Chinese aircraft flew over waters between Japan's southern Okinawa and Miyako islands on Saturday, calling the alleged move "dangerous and unprofessional."
He said the Japanese jets were "jeopardizing the security of Chinese aircraft and pilots," during the latter's "routine" drills over the waters.
The Japanese government said on Monday, however, that no dangerous maneuvers had been conducted during the encounter.
"It is extremely regrettable that the Chinese Defense Ministry one-sidedly made a clearly untrue announcement," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
"I have received a report from the defense minister that the Japanese planes did not conduct any close-range interference toward the Chinese military planes... or threaten the safety of Chinese military planes or its personnel," he added.
Suga also warned Beijing against what he described as China's "expanding and increasing" military moves. He said Japan would make every effort toward "firmly protecting our country's land, sea and air space and, in accordance with international and domestic law, take strict measures against any invasion of our airspace."
Japan and China are locked in a territorial row over an uninhabited yet strategically important island group in the East China Sea. The islets are located about 220 kilometers west of Taiwan and are controlled by Japan but are also claimed by China. The two countries even use different names to refer to the islands.
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