China has accused Japan of interfering with their operations as they had to scramble fighter jets on Saturday when Japanese military aircraft breached their air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. Japan meanwhile defended their actions, saying they were simply flying over international seas and it was the Chinese planes that committed provocative actions by flying too close to their aircraft.
China’s Defense Ministry said that two Japanese planes were seen entering their ADIZ on Sunday without asking for permission to do so. The zone was declared last year, despite protests from Japan and the United States among others, requiring all international flights to inform Chinese authorities that they will be passing through. The ministry’s statement called this move by Japan “a serious violation of international laws and standards, which could have easily caused a misunderstanding and even led to a mid-air accident.” The incident happened in the middle of a joint military exercise by the Chinese and Russian navy as part of their plan to “strengthen relations” as the international community has constantly criticized the two countries due to their actions over territorial disputes.
Meanwhile, Tokyo denied that they were in violation of international law. Its own Defense Ministry responded saying that the Japanese surveillance aircraft OP-3C was approached by a Chinese fighter jet while it was simply flying over international waters. Later that day, they said that another jet flew as close as 30 meters to a different aircraft. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that he believes China was “totally out of line” and what they did was “completely out of [sic] ordinary.” They have also notified their neighbour of the incident from their point of view.
[ via Aljazeera ]
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