Japan Scrambles Fighter Jets to Track Russian Bombers

From the state-run Russian propaganda outlet, RIA Novosti:

TOKYO, July 16 (RIA Novosti) – Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force had to scramble fighter jets in response to flights by Russian military aircraft near Japanese airspace and over the disputed Kuril Islands on Monday, local media reported.

Two Tu-95 Bear bombers flew over the Sea of Japan moving from the Korean Peninsula, and proceeded along the Japanese archipelago to the north of Hokkaido. Another plane, the IL-20, flew over the Kuril Islands, NHK television said late Monday citing the Defense Ministry.

The Russian Defense Ministry later said that two Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers, flying a training mission as part of the snap military rills [sic] in the Eastern Military District, were followed by South Korean and Japanese fighter jets.

“The flight of the pair of Tu-95MS bombers continued for 7 hours and 15 minutes. They were ‘shadowed’ by two South Korean F-15K fighter jets and pairs of Japanese F-4J, F-15J and F-2A aircraft,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Japan remains very sensitive to the Russian military activity near its borders as bilateral relations have long been overshadowed by a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands in the north Pacific.

The four disputed islands – Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai – were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II and are still claimed by Japan.

The two states never signed a permanent peace treaty following the end of World War II because of the row over the islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories.

Full article: Japan Scrambles Fighter Jets to Track Russian Bombers (RIA Novosti)

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