Japan ASDF Jets Scrambled 947 Times in FY 2019
Tokyo, April 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Air Self-Defense Force scrambled its fighter planes 947 times in fiscal 2019 to intercept aircraft suspected of intruding into the country's airspace, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The number for the year that ended last month dropped by 52 from the previous year, but it is the third highest on record.
The ministry is on high alert for frequent aircraft activity near Japanese airspace by China and Russia. It said that 71 pct of the year's scrambles were against Chinese aircraft, totaling 675 times, up 37 from the previous year.
Scrambles against Russian aircraft decreased 75 to 268 times. However, Russia violated Japanese airspace for the first time in about four years in June last year.
In the following month, a Russian A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft entered Japanese airspace near the Sea of Japan islands of Takeshima, which both Japan and South Korea claim.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]