Military Capabilities

Tokyo accuses two Russian Tu-95 bombers of violating Japanese airspace

20 June 2019

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled fighter aircraft twice on 20 June to intercept two Russian Aerospace Forces Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear' strategic bombers it accused of violating Japanese airspace.

A Japan Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Jane's that the bombers had entered the country's airspace without permission off Minamidaito Island (Okinawa Prefecture) between 08.53 h and 08.56 h local time, prompting the JASDF to scramble fighter aircraft.

The bombers then flew north, with one of them violating Japanese airspace off Hachijo Island (Tokyo Prefecture) between 10.21 h to 10.23 h local time, added the spokesperson.

However, the Russian MoD rejected Tokyo's accusations, with the TASS news agency quoting the ministry as saying that "the flight was carried out in strict compliance with the international rules of using international airspace, without any violations of the borders of other states".

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