Chinese Carrier-Based Aircraft Seen Flying off Okinawa
Tokyo, May 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that warplanes based on the Chinese navy aircraft carrier Liaoning were spotted taking off from and landing on the flattop while it was sailing in Pacific waters off the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces destroyer Izumo and others remain on alert following the moves by the Chinese military. This was the first takeoff and landing training by Chinese carrier-based aircraft in waters near Japan since December last year.
Fighter jets and helicopters based on the Liaoning were found taking off from and landing on the aircraft carrier several times between around noon Tuesday (3 a.m. GMT) and 6 p.m. the same day while the MSDF was monitoring the flattop and six other Chinese warships, which were traveling in waters 160 kilometers southwest of the island of Okidaitojima in Okinawa at the time, the ministry said.
Air SDF fighter jets were scrambled. The Chinese aircraft did not violate Japanese airspace or conduct dangerous activities, according to the ministry.
The seven Chinese warships were seen sailing south between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island in the prefecture from Sunday to Monday.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]