Tokyo, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)–The number of times Japanese Self-Defense Forces were forced to scramble aircraft to counter possible incursions into Japanese airspace by foreign aircraft totaled 470 in April-September, down 91 from a year before, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
The ministry remains vigilant as it expects more incursions by foreign aircraft into Japanese airspace.
The SDF scrambled its aircraft against Chinese planes 332 times, down 13 but accounting for about 70 pct of the total. The number of times the SDF scrambled aircraft against Russian incursions stood at 135, down 76.
The first joint operation by Chinese-Russian warplanes over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea was conducted on July 23.
On the same day, a Russian A-50 airborne warning and control system aircraft was confirmed to have intruded into Japanese airspace near Takeshima, a group of islets in the western prefecture of Shimane.