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Japan scrambles fighters after China plane enters disputed airspace: Media

Published on Dec 13, 2012 2:11 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after one Chinese state-owned aeroplane entered airspace over islands at the centre of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

F-15 jets were mobilised after a Chinese maritime aircraft ventured over the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, just after 11 am (10am Singapore time), Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters.

Japan has made an official protest to China over the incident, reported Reuters.

Chinese government ships have moved in and out of waters around the islands for more than two months, but this was the first time since the dispute flared that Tokyo has claimed any airborne incursion into what it says is Japanese territory.

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