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Number of JASDF scrambles increases 5.1% in first half of FY 2021/22

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled its fighter aircraft a total of 390 times in the first half of fiscal year 2021/22 (FY 2021/22) in response to foreign military aircraft approaching the country's airspace: an increase of 5.1% compared with the same period last year.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo said in a 15 October statement that there were 19 more scrambles during the past six months than during the first half of FY 2020/21. The highest number of scrambles in the first half of any fiscal year was 594 in FY 2016/17.

The latest announcement comes amid tensions between Japan and China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.

According to the latest data, JASDF fighters responded 281 times (72% of the total) to movements by Chinese aircraft in the area between April and the end of September: up 47 compared with the same period in 2020.

Tokyo also scrambled fighters 102 times (26% of the total) in response to Russian aircraft: down 32 from the same period last year.

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