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Japan says scrambled fighter jets to escort Russian aircraft near its borders

September 02, 4:26 UTC+3 TOKYO

Two Tupolev-142 antisubmarine turboprops that crossed the Sea of Japan were skirting the Japanese archipelago in the southwest

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© Petr Kovalev/TASS

TOKYO, September 2. /TASS/. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces scrambled their fighter jets on Saturday to escort the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Force that had been noticed near the Japanese border, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the forces said.

Two Tupolev-142 antisubmarine turboprops that crossed the Sea of Japan were skirting the Japanese archipelago in the southwest. At the same time, a Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber was cruising over the Sea of Japan.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee said the aircraft had not entered Japan’s airspace.

From April 2017 through March 2018, or in the fiscal year 2017, the Japanese fighters made 390 missions to escort the Russian warplanes, making 89 more missions than in the previous fiscal year.

Simultaneously, the number of sorties to intercept Chinese jets reduced considerably over the same time - to 500 from 851.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee says Russia sends mostly reconnaissance planes to do missions near Japanese borders. It claims their routes most typically stretch over the Sea of Japan, near Hokkaido and along the northwestern coast of Honshu.

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