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Japan’s jets flew 474 sorties over past year to simulate interception of Russian planes

April 15, 2015, 15:33 UTC+3 TOKYO
In another 464 incidents Japanese fighters simulated interception of Chinese planes
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F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft

F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft

© AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago

TOKYO, April 15. /TASS/. Japanese self-defense force fighter planes were ordered into the air 474 times for simulated interception of Russian planes during the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

In another 464 incidents Japanese fighters simulated interception of Chinese planes.

All in all Japanese self-defense forces in 2014 flew 943 sorties, which is the highest rate since 1984.

"We have taken note of a sharp surge in the activity [of foreign air forces)," the Japanese Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Last year Russian strategic bombers flew more than 50 missions over the world ocean. The Russian Air Force has said that all flights were in strict compliance with the international rules of using the air space. In each incident Russian planes were accompanied by planes of NATO countries and their partners. Earlier, the Pentagon said that Russian Air Force planes were strictly observing international rules.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov on April 9 told the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock television news channel that flights by Russian strategic bombers did not violate any agreements.

"That’s normal practice. We violate no agreements," he said. "As a matter of fact, we conduct normal training flights to ensure are pilots should be prepared to cope with any task that may be set to them," Antonov said.

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