S. Korean Destroyer's Radar Takes Aim at Japan MSDF Plane

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--A destroyer of the South Korean navy aimed fire-control radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol aircraft in Japan's exclusive economic zone on Thursday afternoon, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday.

The action was "extremely dangerous and could have led to a contingency situation," Iwaya told reporters at the Defense Ministry. The Japanese government lodged a strong protest with the South Korean side on Friday through multiple channels including the Foreign Ministry, Iwaya said.

The radar incident occurred in Sea of Japan waters off the Noto Peninsula in central Japan around 3 p.m. Thursday (6 a.m. GMT), Iwaya said. The radar use came with no advance notice, according to the minister and other sources.

A P-1 crew member confirmed that the radar beam was targeted at the plane after finding the South Korean destroyer's fire-control radar system in action. The P-1 crew asked the destroyer by radio about reasons for the radar use, but no responses were made.

A spokesman at the South Korean Ministry of National Defense said that the destroyer was in a routine operation and denied that it used the radar to track the Japanese MSDF patrol plane.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press