Japan accuses Russia of air space intrusion; Moscow denies it

TOKYO/MOSCOW Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:28am EDT

A Russian TU-95 bomber flies through airspace northwest of Okinoshima island, Fukuoka prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Defense Ministry of Japan August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout via Reuters

A Russian TU-95 bomber flies through airspace northwest of Okinoshima island, Fukuoka prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Defense Ministry of Japan August 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout via Reuters

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TOKYO/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two Russian bombers briefly entered Japan's air space near its major southern island of Kyushu on Thursday, prompting Japan to scramble its fighter jets and lodge a protest, the Japanese government said, but Russia denied any intrusion.

The two TU-95 bombers spent less than two minutes in Japan's airspace, in the first such incursion since February, when two Russian fighter jets entered Japan's air space near its main northern island of Hokkaido, the Japanese defense ministry said.

Japan scrambled F-2 combat jets in response.

But Russia denied any intrusion.

"Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers conducted routine flights over the neutral waters in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

"According to control equipment on board, state borders were not violated. The long-haul aircraft were accompanied by Japanese Air Force fighter jets throughout their flight over neutral waters."

The incident comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in April to revive talks on resolving a long-running territorial dispute.

Tokyo and Moscow have conflicting claims over a string of islets called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, which have prevented the two from signing a treaty formally ending their World War Two hostilities.

Japanese Defense and foreign ministry officials declined to speculate on the reasons behind what they consider an intrusion.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel in Moscow; Editing by Nick Macfie and Clarence Fernandez)

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Comments (4)
keebo wrote:
They are commie punk bullies doing what punk bullies do … that’s about it. Ask their own people and businessmen about how these thugs behave.

Aug 22, 2013 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Look at the aircraft, first flight for Tu-95 or ‘Bear’ was in 1952. Clearly the nav system was a bit off and once they rebooted it the plane went back into international air space.

Aug 22, 2013 8:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BiteRight wrote:
Get used to it Abe, Russia or China will ring your door bell for a fire drill everyday. They know your prompt response is ever more record-breaking.

Aug 22, 2013 9:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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