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Two Russian fighter jets breach Japanese airspace: Tokyo

Published on Feb 7, 2013 6:57 PM
 
Right-wing Japanese activists shout the Japanese patriotic cry 'banzai' as they protest, calling on Russia to return a group of islands, called Northern Territories by Tokyo and Southern Kuriles by Moscow, while police stand guard in front of the Russian embassy in Tokyo on Feb 7, 2013. The banner (right) reads, "Protest". Two Russian fighter jets violated Japanese airspace on Thursday with Tokyo scrambling jets in response, the defence ministry said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Two Russian fighter jets violated Japanese airspace on Thursday with Tokyo scrambling jets in response, the defence ministry said.

The Russian planes were detected off the coast of northernmost Hokkaido island for just over a minute, shortly after Japan's new prime minister said he wants to find a "mutually acceptable solution" to a decades-old territorial row with Russia and sign a long-delayed peace treaty with Moscow.

Japan's foreign ministry lodged a formal protest over the incursion by a pair of Russian SU-27 fighters at about 3:00 pm local time (0600 GMT).

"Today, around 3:00 pm, military fighters belonging to Russian Federation breached our nation's airspace above territorial waters off Rishiri island in Hokkaido," the foreign ministry said.

 
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