Japan: China Violated Our Airspace
Chinese plane approached disputed islands
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2012 8:53 AM CST
In this photo released by Japanese officials, a Chinese airplane flies above the islands Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Japan Coast Guard 11th Regional Coast Guard)

(Newser) – Japan says a Chinese government plane violated its airspace by soaring too close to the disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Japan scrambled eight fighter jets and complained to Beijing in response, a Japanese spokesman says. It's the first time a Chinese government aircraft has intruded on Japanese airspace since records began in 1958, according to Japan's defense ministry.

The plane's intrusion comes the same day Chinese surveillance ships were reported in the vicinity, the spokesman said. China's foreign ministry says the flight path was "completely normal." "The Diaoyu islands and affiliated islands are part of China's inherent territory," says an official. "The Chinese side calls on Japan to halt all entries into water and airspace around the islands." The flight may have been a provocative effort in the continuing feud, or it may have been symbolic, the BBC notes: Seventy-five years ago today, Japan began killing tens of thousands of Chinese civilians in the Nanjing massacre.

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Dec 14, 2012 2:02 AM CST
This sounds vaguely sexual.
Dec 13, 2012 1:06 PM CST
I am surprised we are not after the island, it's has oil and gas.
Dec 13, 2012 12:42 PM CST
Here's the way I see it. That little island means nothing in and of itself. North Korea has a new leader and now he has to prove himself to the government and the military. There is no better way of doing this than aggravating neighbors. This flight over a "worthless piece of rock" could also be a way for North Korea to determine how FAR it can push the neighbors without any consequences. North Korea only fears its neighbors: As long as obama is president it does not fear the USA.