TOKYO Aug 22 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 defence and foreign ministries
If true, it was the first such intrusion since February,
when two Russian fighter jets entered Japan's air space near its
main northern island of Hokkaido.
The two TU-95 bombers arrived shortly after noon on Thursday
for less than two minutes, the ministries said. Japan scrambled
F-2 combat jets in response.
In Moscow, asked about the alleged intrusion at a regular
news conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander
Lukashevich said he was unaware of the reports and would look
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 defence and foreign ministry officials declined to
speculate on the reasons behind the intrusion.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)