Japan lodges protest against South Korea, Russia over jet incident

Japan lodges protest against South Korea, Russia over jet incident

A crane at a construction site is seen behind Japan's national flag in Tokyo
A crane at a construction site is seen behind Japan's national flag in Tokyo, Japan, August 12, 2016. Picture taken on August 12, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

TOKYO: The Japanese government has lodged a protest against South Korea and Russia, after South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday (Jul 23).

Two Russian bombers and two Chinese bombers entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) together early on Tuesday, said South Korea's defence ministry. 

According to the South Korean military, a separate Russian early warning and control aircraft later twice violated South Korean airspace over Dokdo - an island that is occupied by South Korea and also claimed by Japan, which calls it Takeshima.

Tokyo lodged a complaint through diplomatic channels to both South Korea and Russia.

"Takeshima is Japan's territory," Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a news conference.

"It is Japan that should take action against the Russian plane that entered its airspace. It is incompatible with Japan's stance that South Korea takes steps on that," Kono said. 

"In light of Japan's stance regarding sovereignty over Takeshima, we find it extremely regrettable that the South Korean military's aircraft carried out warning shots, and it is totally unacceptable. We lodged a stern protest to South Korea and firmly demanded the prevention of such a recurrence."

Russia denied violating any airspace and accused South Korean pilots of being reckless.

Source: Reuters/aa

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