Japan’s defense ministry said Friday that it scrambled fighter jets in response to two Russian IL-38 information-gathering aircrafts seen flying to and from the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea through the Tsushima Strait, which separates Japan and South Korea.
The Russian air force activity came a day after Japan’s defense ministry said on Thursday that it saw Russian and Chinese naval ships crossing international waters between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island in southern Japan.
The defense ministry said it was the first time the Chinese and Russian naval ships sailed through that particular area of the sea together and had expressed “grave concern” about their joint military activities in the sea and airspace surrounding the country in recent years, saying they are “intended as a show of force against Japan.”
Some context: It's standard practice for Japan to scramble fighter jets in response to Chinese and Russian aircrafts flying close to its territory.
Japan’s relations with Russia have deteriorated since the Kremlin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began 18 months ago. Tokyo has joined its Western allies in imposing sanctions on Moscow and pledged billions in humanitarian aid for Kyiv.