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Russian Aircraft Violate Japanese Airspace

Updated on February 9, 2013

In the past few weeks, Japan's new government, which is more conservative, has been very vocal about foreign military aircraft violating its airspace. The Chinese have violated it on numerous occassions over the Senkaku islands, which both nations claim. First, Japan intercepted Chinese jets flying over it and locking on lasers. A brief dogfight occurred, although no missiles flew, before the Chinese jets flew away. Then, Chinese warships violated the same area and locked their radar onto Japanese ships in the area. It was all a threat.

Now, Russian Su-27 aircraft violated the Japanese airspace over Hokkaido, north of Japan. Japan scrambled two F-2 jets to challenge them. Japan feels as if both China and Russia are testing them and their responses. Russia and Japan continue to dispute over the Kuril islands. In fact, Russia has violated Japan's airspace 180 times in the past nine months, each time Japan scrambled jets.

All incidents places the U.S. in a difficult position since it has a defense treaty with Japan and are friends with Russia and China. If Russia or China were to become more belligerent with Japan, where would the US Navy be? Would US fighters take on China or Russia? Would the US remain neutral making the defense treaty pointless?


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