“We are determined to defend our land, territorial waters and the skies”
Japan issued a warning to China on Monday, after eight Chinese military planes were flown near disputed territories in the East China Sea.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said Tokyo would “watch” China’s military to ensure that it doesn’t violate Japanese airspace, according to the Associated Press.
“The government of Japan continues to watch the Chinese military’s activity, which has become expansive and more active, while carrying out our surveillance activity,” said Suga. “We are determined to defend our land, territorial waters and the skies.”
Two fighter jets, four bombers and two reconnaissance planes reportedly flew over the Miyako Strait, between Okinawa and Miyakojima on Sunday. Japan said it scrambled fighter jets in response to the move, which many are calling a show of force by China, the BBC reports. The Chinese planes flew over waters near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China where they are known as the Diaoyu Islands.
It comes one week after Japan announced it would take part in joint training patrols alongside the U.S. in the South China Sea.
The flights, which Chinese state media said were part of a routine exercise that involved about 40 aircraft, did not violate Japanese airspace.