US sends new submarine-hunting jets to Japan amid East Asia tension
TOKYO/WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States (US) Navy's first two advanced P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft have arrived in Japan, US military officials said on Monday, helping to upgrade America's ability to hunt submarines and other vessels in seas close to China as tension in the region mounts.
The initial deployment - another four of the aircraft are due to arrive in the coming days - was planned before China last month established an air defence identification zone covering islands controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing.
The Pentagon says it is routinely flying operations in the region, including in China's newly declared air defence zone, without informing Beijing ahead of time.
One US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters these routine operations include surveillance flights.