World / China-Japan Relations

Japanese accused of fighter jet provocation over zone

By Mo Jingxi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-05 07:37

China accused Japan on Monday of using its fighter jets to stage provocative actions over the East China Sea.

Beijing said this had endangered the safety of both Chinese and Japanese aircraft crews and threatened regional stability, which could easily lead to accidents in the air.

The comments, by the Ministry of National Defense, came after Japanese media reports said Chinese military aircraft had confronted Japanese warplanes several times recently south of the Diaoyu Islands.

"The remarks utterly confuse right with wrong and mislead the public," the ministry said in a statement, demanding that Japan stop all provocative actions.

It said two Chinese SU-30 fighter jets were conducting regular missions within the air defense identification zone over the East China Sea on June 17 when two Japanese F-15 fighter jets approached at high speed and directed fire-control radar at the Chinese planes.

The ministry said the Japanese jets operated an infrared missile jammer before flying off after the Chinese planes responded "in a decisive way and adopted measures such as tactical maneuvering".

It also asked Japan to remove obstacles hindering bilateral negotiations over starting and operating an air and maritime contact mechanism between the two countries' defense ministries.

Lyu Yaodong, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this is another case of Japan hyping up the "China threat" it faces in the East China Sea.

"Japan is trying to convince its own people and the international community that it is the victim of Chinese activities, while in fact China has done nothing wrong," he said.

Last month, Japan had repeatedly "hyped up" the legitimate activities of Chinese military ships for no reason, which puzzled the Chinese Defense Ministry.

Lyu said one reason Japan is doing this is because it is attempting to dispel domestic doubts over the necessity for its new security laws that allow the country to use the right to collective self-defense.

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