Japan protested after Chinese warplanes flew "abnormally close" to
Japanese military aircraft over the East China Sea on Wednesday.
China's Defense Ministry said Japan's repeated accusations "were
aimed at furthering the deception of the international community,
smearing the image of our military and manufacturing tensions in the
"This type of vile approach by Japan disregards the facts, confuses
right and wrong and is entirely the villain bringing suit against
his victims," the ministry said in a statement on its website.
On Wednesday, two Japanese F-15 planes followed a Chinese Tu-154
aircraft and came as close as 30 meters, "seriously affecting
China's flight safety", the ministry said. It also released video
footage of the incident.
Japan's Self-Defense Force sent a YS-11EB aircraft and an OP-3C
surveillance plane to conduct reconnaissance in the air defense
identification zone established by China, the ministry said.
"The operations of the Chinese pilots were professional, standard
and restrained," the ministry said. "The actions undertaken by the
Japanese pilots were dangerous and obviously provocative in their
The comments came after Japan's Vice Foreign Minister, Akitaka
Saiki, summoned China's ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua, to
protest Wednesday's incident.
The newest flare up in a long-running territorial dispute between
Asia's largest economies follows a similar incident on May 24, when
Japan said Chinese aircraft had come within a few dozen meters of
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Saiki told Cheng on Thursday that "extremely dangerous activities
that could lead to an unexpected accident in the sea or airspace in
the vicinity of Japan should not repeated", according to Japan's
China lays claim to Japanese-administered islets in the East China
Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. China declared
its air defense zone covering most of the East China Sea last year
despite protests by Japan and the United States.
Sino-Japanese ties have long been strained by allegations in China
that Japan has not properly atoned for its wartime aggression and by
the spat over the uninhabited islands.
(Additional reporting by Linda Sieg in TOKYO; Editing by Jeremy
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