‘Large’ Chinese military fleet flies near Japan islands: media

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TOKYO – Japan scrambled jets after 11 Chinese military planes flew near southern Japanese islands during what Beijing said was a drill to improve its long-range combat abilities, reports said Saturday.

The planes — eight bombers, two intelligence gathering planes and one early-warning aircraft — flew near Miyako and Okinawa on Friday without violating Japan’s airspace, the Japanese defense ministry said in a statement released on Friday.

Some of them flew between the two islands while others made flights close to neighbouring islands, the ministry said.

A Chinese air force spokesman said several types of planes, including H-6K bombers, were involved in Friday’s drill over the western Pacific, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Shen Jinke said such open sea exercises had improved the force’s long-distance combat abilities, according to Xinhua.

While there were no further comments from the Japanese ministry, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that it was “unusual” for China to dispatch such a large fleet close to Japan’s airspace and the ministry was analyzing the purpose of the mission.

Japan scrambles jets hundreds of times a year to defend its airspace, both against Russia and these days also against Chinese aircraft.

Read more: https://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/11/28/15/large-chinese-military-fleet-flies-near-japan-islands-media

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