Japan scrambles jets against China plane near disputed islands
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday to head off a Chinese government plane flying towards disputed islands in the East China Sea, Tokyo's defence ministry said.
It is the first such incident to be announced by the ministry since China created its new air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in November last year, which has stoked tensions in the region.
The Chinese Y-12 propeller plane flew into Japan's own ADIZ, about 160km from airspace around the Tokyo-controlled Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus, the ministry said.
The aircraft headed back towards China without entering disputed airspace after Japan's military planes became airborne, a defence official said, without confirming further details.