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China, Russia fly bombers in coordination near Japanese archipelago

Yomiuri and Sankei reported on the joint announcement made by the Russian and Chinese Defense Ministries on Tuesday that their strategic bombers conducted a “joint aerial patrol” over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. The ASDF scrambled jets in response to the operation by the six bombers that lasted more than 10 hours. The Russian defense minister disclosed that the Russian and Chinese bombers were pursued by several Japanese F-15 fighters, adding that the operation intended to “ensure global strategic stability” was not directed at any third party. Noting that Moscow and Beijing carried out a similar joint operation near the Japanese archipelago in July last year, Yomiuri speculated that the latest flight was designed to hold U.S.-Japan security coordination in check ahead of the power transition in Washington.

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