Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Office said Tuesday it has confirmed a ship-based fighter jet departing from and arriving at a Chinese aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean off Kitadaito Island in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan.
This is the second time for the ministry to announce such jet activity involving a Chinese aircraft carrier sailing in the Pacific and the first since 2018.
This time, the ministry released the photos of the fighter jet, identifying the aircraft as the J-15.
The ministry believes that China is boosting efforts to improve its capabilities in open sea activities.
The helicopter-carrying destroyer Izumo of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and others confirmed that six Chinese vessels, including the Chinese navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and a Renhai-class missile destroyer, were sailing some 300 kilometers east of the island around 8 a.m. Sunday (11 p.m. Saturday GMT), according to the ministry.
The fighter jet and a ship-borne helicopter were confirmed to depart from and arrive at the Liaoning multiple times by 9 p.m.
The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets against the Chinese aircraft. There was no intrusion into Japanese territorial waters or dangerous action against the Self-Defense Forces.
Along with three other naval vessels, the Liaoning was spotted sailing south between Okinawa’s main island and Miyako Island and entering the Pacific Ocean on Thursday.