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Japan, Russia to hold consultations on incident prevention in airspace

December 10, 2014, 9:11 UTC+3 TOKYO
The sides are also expected to discuss visits to air bases of the two countries
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© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO, December 10. /TASS/. A delegation of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force plans to visit Russia next week to discuss with Russian Air Force officials ways to prevent incidents in airspace and boost cooperation of the two air forces that has been practically zero over the recent years, Japan’s Nikkei reports on Wednesday.

The sides are also expected to discuss visits to air bases of the two countries, the newspaper says citing a source from the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Japan expects the air forces of the two countries will establish ties that have been practically nonexistent in the recent years in contrast to ties between Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Russian Naval Forces that hold joint military exercises on a regular basis, Nikkei says.

These will be the first such consultations since the start a crisis in eastern Ukraine. Japan’s Defense Ministry maintains the Russian Air Force has visibly increased its activity since then.

According to ministry’s reports, from April to September 2014, Russian military planes were approaching Japan’s airspace more often than other planes.

Japan’s fighter jets were ordered off ground 324 times to intercept Russian planes, more than half of 533 mission sorties by Japanese military planes over this period of time, the ministry said.

Talks of the Russian and Japanese delegations are due in the Russian far eastern city of Khabarovsk, the newspaper says.

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