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Japan fighter jet dispatch highest since Cold War: Government

Published on Apr 10, 2014 1:10 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan dispatched fighter jets more often over the past 12 months than at any time since the Cold War ended, according to government figures, with the sorties mostly aimed at chasing away Chinese and Russian aircraft.

Tokyo scrambled fighter jets 810 times in the fiscal year to March, with more than half aimed at Chinese planes, as the Asian powers remain locked in a tense standoff over competing territorial claims, the defence ministry data published Wednesday showed.

Planes were sent up nine times to ward off North Korean jets, it added.

The total number of dispatches was the highest annual number since fiscal 1989, when Japan scrambled jets some 812 times, mostly to deal with Soviet aircraft.

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