News / Asia

Japan Scrambles Jets After Chinese Plane Approaches Contested Islands

Japanese Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012.
Japanese Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012.
VOA News
Japan scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets after a Chinese plane entered disputed airspace near contested islands in the East China Sea on Thursday, prompting a diplomatic dispute between the two Asian powers.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura says the jets were sent in response to a Chinese Oceanic Administration airplane that was spotted near the islands. He said Japan has lodged an official protest and summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo.

"It is extremely deplorable that China's official airplane conducted an airspace invasion of Japan's territory today, on top of their intrusion of territorial waters for three days in a row, as of today, despite our repeated warnings."

A spokesperson for the Japanese prime minister's office confirmed to VOA that in addition to the F-15s, a E-2C "Hawkeye" observation aircraft was also scrambled from Naha, Okinawa.

An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
x
An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
The Japanese government described the incident as the first ever "intrusion" by a Chinese plane into what Japan considers its airspace. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said the plane's mission was "completely normal."

"The Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islands have been part of China's territory since antiquity," said Hong. "China's surveillance plane flying in airspace over the Diaoyu Islands is completely normal. China calls on Japan to halt illegal activities in waters around Diaoyu islands and airspace."

Sam Bateman, a maritime security expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, tells VOA that the incident should be viewed as a continuation of China's regular patrols in the area.

"I don't see it as a real escalation. I just see it as a demonstration of sovereignty," says Bateman. "It's understandable that both parties are going to engage in a bit of 'tit-for-tat,' you know fly close, patrol close to these islands, because that's the way you demonstrate your sovereignty claim."



Since Japan purchased the islands from a private landowner in September, China has sent regular patrol missions to the disputed waters, in what some analysts say is Beijing's attempt to establish the fact that it can come and go as its pleases.

The Japanese Coast Guard says four Chinese maritime surveillance vessels were seen near the Japan-administered islands earlier on Thursday.

The incident came as China marked the sensitive 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese soldiers entered China and embarked on a campaign that included mass rapes and killings of thousands of Chinese.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
December 14, 2012 10:35 AM
Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan & Vietnam should all be wary of PRC hegemonism. The PRC wants to be the Middle Kingdom again & extend its territorial claims in Asia. The US should protect Japan and its allies from PRC territorial incursions & violations of their sovereignty.


by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 14, 2012 6:41 AM
What a waste of money, eight F15 and a E-2c Hawkeye to counter a one unarmed Chinese Oceanic Administrative Plane. This is really an over-killed exercise.

@ Samurai of Japan
Are you a parrot. You have been repeating this comment in other article of VOA. You should go back to your drawing board and create something more creative.


by: Hiro from: Japan
December 14, 2012 6:21 AM
The editor of this article forgot to print Okinawa of Japan, while HongKong of China is printed.

High authorities in China has been promoting expansion principle, saying "that island first, then Okinawa."
Bully fishing boats' attacks to our sea guards have got more and more often these years. Everytime we caught that "civilian" people, our government say please stop and feed them nicely and send them back 1st class. So it never stops; now it's the air.

Same things in Philipine, Vietnam.. just scary, we have to stop this.


by: Andy from: Texas
December 14, 2012 12:38 AM
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.", Edmund Burke. It is now the time for someone to stand up against China's bullying all around South East Asia. For thousand years, China is a country which is greedy for territory. Its history is the history of invasion and enslaving other countries. Japan's uprising and conquering in WWII is nothing compared to that. Plus, it is totally different now from the Japan in WWII. A peaceful, democratic, creative and productive, humble country, unlike China, an aggressive, communist country which imititates and spies on other country's hardworking research, manipulates their own currency for exporting leverage and yet always boastful about itself. Do all the disputed islands in Japan and Vietnam sea belong to China? Maybe, one day, China will claim Hawaii its island!

In Response

by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 15, 2012 7:25 AM
@ Andy from Texas

"China is a Country which is greedy for territory. Its history is the history of invasion and enslaving other countries"

From which text book did you study your history lesson room? These facts were far from the truth.
China has never enslaved any countries through history.
You must have mixed up your facts with Japan which invaded China and other Asian countries in the WWII. Japan committed atrocious deed to the Asian people and their allies(the US, British and Australian). Japan killed, raped and beheaded prisoner of war and civilians during WWII. It was US that stopped them by dropping a couple of Atomic bombs in Japan which end the war and thus the suffering of the Asian people.


by: Sam Ghalyoun from: USA
December 13, 2012 8:07 PM
Japan owns the island, and China should stop incursion, the world backs Japan to the maximum.
In case of stealing, China should pull out of Eastern Turkstan, and Tibet first before they speak of stealing.
Japan has nothing to fear from China, we are wtth them all the way.


by: John from: chicago
December 13, 2012 5:09 PM
Japan's territories were clearly defined in the WWII documents, the four big island and nearby islands. Japan lost Taiwan and other islands near Taiwan seized illegally in the past. Now Japan acts like thief, it claims it legally possess the island it steals.


by: Wake Up from: canada
December 13, 2012 3:52 PM
All I see from a free country is how greedy China is. They love to cry about Japans past but yet they do worst. Aren't you suppose to learn from past lesson, to make a better future?


by: Anonymous
December 13, 2012 11:30 AM
Remember the last time Japan went around claiming islands that didn't belong to them? Oh right that was called World War 2...and that whole thing turned out really well for them.


by: Samurai from: Japan
December 13, 2012 10:22 AM
China is always posing problems in the world. Its patrol ships also invading Japanese territorial waters every day. What china is doing is just like what a gangster does against a pedestrian---the gangster threatens the pedestrian and demands money or robs him of money. China still cannot understand that its lawless behavior only enables Japan to justify putting a beating on Chinese in order to teach Chinese ethics and manners.

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 13, 2012 11:03 AM
Japs want to invade the world ,and it really did in the history.The world should give this acquisitive country a lesson about how to be a respectful nation .


by: Anonymous
December 13, 2012 8:43 AM
To be honest, this all seems rather straight forward. Japan legally bought UNINHABITED islands from their PRIVATE owner, and now China is trying to make a land grab just as they are with several other countries at the moment. The worst part is, I'm sure the people of China have no access to any different viewpoint on the internet, as any undesirable information is blocked by the great firewall of China. If so, it is truly sad to see people get so upset over something they are not able to see the whole picture of due to government censorship.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
December 15, 2012 2:24 AM
really? What about Taiwanese? they dont have access to different viewpoint on the internet? why Taiwanese and Hongkongers also landed on Diaoyu island and claim it?

In Response

by: Anonymous from: Herndon
December 13, 2012 10:29 AM
All chinese high ranking politician are all uneducated. They just don't know what their country looks like on a world map.

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 13, 2012 10:17 AM
It is straight forward if you look at it from only one side's perspective.

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid