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Pictures | Thu Dec 13, 2012 | 6:32am EST

Japan scrambles jets as Chinese plane flies over disputed isles

An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard December 13, 2012. Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defence Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area. Mandatory Credit REUTERS/11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard/Handout

An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast...more

An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard December 13, 2012. Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defence Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area. Mandatory Credit REUTERS/11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard/Handout
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A projected map of Japan's territorial waters and Japan Coast Guard organization chart are displayed during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defence Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the flight by the Chinese aircraft was "completely normal" and it called on Japan to stop entering the waters and airspace near the islets. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A projected map of Japan's territorial waters and Japan Coast Guard organization chart are displayed during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012....more

A projected map of Japan's territorial waters and Japan Coast Guard organization chart are displayed during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defence Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the flight by the Chinese aircraft was "completely normal" and it called on Japan to stop entering the waters and airspace near the islets. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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A projected map of Japan's territorial waters are seen through a reporter's silhouette during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura (not pictured), at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A projected map of Japan's territorial waters are seen through a reporter's silhouette during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura (not pictured), at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012....more

A projected map of Japan's territorial waters are seen through a reporter's silhouette during a news conference by Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura (not pictured), at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan Coast Guard Commandant Takashi Kitamura speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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