TIME Japan

Japanese Fighter Jet Scrambles Against China Have Hit a Record High

A Chinese military plane Y-8 airborne early warning plane flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan
© Handout —Reuters Japan has scrambled against hundreds of Chinese military planes during the last 12 months, including this aircraft that flew through Japanese airspace on October 27, 2013.

Japanese pilots are being called out more and more in response to "vigorous activities" by Chinese fighter jets, amid increased tensions between the two countries

Japan scrambled fighter jet against Chinese planes 415 times during the last 12 months, hitting a record high, the Japanese Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The number of scrambles is up 36 precent from the previous year, and they come amid increased tensions between the two countries over long and bitter territorial disputes.

Akira Asai, public affairs director of the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff, said the record number of scrambles is a response to an expansion in activities by Chinese fighter jets and other planes, Reuters reports.

“As for China, we understand they are keeping up vigorous activities,” he said.




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