July 23, 2019 / 10:10 AM / 4 months ago

Japan scrambles fighters to intercept Russian and Chinese planes

A Russian A-50 military aircraft flies near the disputed islands called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan July 23, 2019. Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s military scrambled fighter aircraft to intercept Russian and Chinese planes, it said on Tuesday, including an observation jet at which South Korean forces fired warning shots after it entered airspace over an island claimed by both Seoul and Tokyo.

Japan, like South Korea, identified two Chinese H-6 bombers and two Russian TU-95 bombers flying over the strait between the countries.

In addition, there was a Russian A-50 observation plane at which South Korea had fired warning shots after it passed close to the island it controls, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

Japan regularly scrambles fighters to intercept Chinese and Russian aircraft that fly close to its territory, with 999 such intercepts in the twelve months that ended on March 31.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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