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Russian bombers

The above information was given by Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

“Two Chinese bombers and two Chinese bombers Russia appeared in the Sea of ​​Japan and made a joint flight to the East China Sea.

After that, a total of 4 aircraft, including 2 believed to be other Chinese bombers (replacing the previous 2) and 2 Russian bombers made a joint flight from the South China Sea. East China to the Pacific”.

In addition, a Russian intelligence-gathering plane also flew from northern Hokkaido to the Noto peninsula (central Japan) on May 24.

Mr Kishi said the government had expressed “deep concern” to Beijing and Moscow about the flights, which came as the leaders of the US, Australia, India and Japan were holding talks in Tokyo about the flights. regional security issues.

“When the international community is reacting to the conflict in Ukraine, it is worrisome for China to make such a move with the cooperation of Russia. It cannot be ignored,” Mr. Kishi said.

During the meeting in Tokyo, Quartet leaders warned of attempts to “change the status quo by force”, but avoided mentioning Russia or China in the joint statement, referring only to conflict. Ukraine and some of the activities Beijing is accused of conducting in the region.

Japan’s Defense Ministry insists that the Russian and Chinese planes did not violate Japanese airspace. But this is the fourth time since November 2021 that Russia and China have conducted joint flights near Japan.

Russian - Chinese bombers approached Japan when the Quartet met in Tokyo - Photo 1.

Leaders of Australia, the US, Japan and India met in Tokyo on May 24. Photo: DW

On the same day, the South Korean military said it had sent out fighter jets after at least two Chinese fighter jets and four Russian warplanes entered the country’s Air Defense Identification Zone (known as the Air Defense Identification Zone). Korea ADIZ or KADIZ).

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Russian and Chinese aircraft have entered and exited the KADIZ over the Sea of ​​Japan several times a day. The JCS added that the planes did not violate South Korean airspace. The South Korean military then sent out fighter jets “to take tactical measures in anticipation of a possible situation”.

Unlike airspace, ADIZ is usually an area where countries can unilaterally request foreign aircraft to take steps to identify themselves. There is no international law governing the ADIZ. Moscow does not recognize the KADIZ, while Beijing argues that the area is not airspace and that all countries should enjoy freedom of movement there.

Also on May 24, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian and Chinese military aircraft conducted joint exercises to patrol the Asia-Pacific region.

The 13-hour joint patrol in the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea involved Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and China’s Xian H-6K aircraft. In addition, participating in patrolling support are Russian Su-30SM aircraft. The number of aircraft participating in the patrol was not disclosed.

“During some phases of the patrol, the bombers were tailed by ROK Air Force F-2s and Japan Air Force F-15s,” the ministry said in a statement. .

“During the performance of the mission, the Russian and Chinese aircraft both strictly complied with the provisions of international law. There were no violations of foreign airspace.”

The Ministry of Defense emphasized that the joint patrol was conducted according to the 2022 military cooperation plan and was not aimed at a third country.

Japan – a country that has border disputes with neighboring countries China, Russia, and South Korea – still regularly sends fighter jets to protect the airspace.

From last year to March 2022, Japan flew military aircraft 1,004 times, mostly to warn Chinese aircraft, and sometimes even Russian planes.

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