Japan deployed fighter jets on Thursday after a Chinese airplane was spotted in Japanese airspace above southwestern islands controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.
The Japan Defence Agency mobilised four F-15 jets over the disputed Senkaku islands – known as Diaoyu in China, after a Japanese Government spokesperson told reporters about the sighting of the Chinese aircraft.
The purchase of the islands by the Japanese Government earlier this year from private Japanese owners set off massive anti-Japanese rallies in China.
Japanese ships have been patrolling the area on the lookout for approaching Chinese ships.
Chinese ships have darted in and out the waters in that area in recent months. Violations by Chinese planes of air space are more unusual.
(With inputs from AP/AFP)
Photo Courtesy: Jerry Gunner