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Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China removes footage

Published on Jun 13, 2014 1:15 PM
This photo taken on June 11, 2014, released by China's Ministry of National Defence, shows a Japanese F-15 jet approaching a Chinese plane (out of frame) in a spot where the two countries' air defence zones overlap. Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador, as the two sides traded accusations of blame for a near miss involving fighter jets over the East China Sea, the second similar incident in less than a month. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan on Friday denied Beijing's claims that its Self-Defence Force planes came "dangerously close" to Chinese aircraft in an incident over the East China Sea on Wednesday, demanding China takes down the footage allegedly showing the incident.

On Thursday, China said two Japanese F-15 planes followed a Chinese Tu-154 aircraft and came as close as 30 metres, "seriously affecting China's flight safety". It posted a video allegedly showing that incident on the defence ministry website.

"We believe there is no truth in China's assertions that Japanese fighter planes came within 30 metres of a Chinese plane and severely affected the flight's safety," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

"The airplanes (in the video) are different," he said in response to a reporter's question about the rationale behind Japan's assertion, adding that Japan lodged a protest late on Thursday and demanded that Beijing take down the footage.

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