Takeoffs, Landings from China Flattop Liaoning Far Exceed 100
Tokyo, May 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tuesday that the number of aircraft takeoffs from and landings on the Chinese navy flattop Liaoning, which has been operating in Pacific waters south of the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa since earlier this month, have far exceeded 100.
Kishi told a press conference that the Japanese government needs to monitor the situation closely with a sense of alert as the flattop is operating in areas close to the Nansei southwestern islands in Japan and Taiwan. "We will conduct surveillance activities with a strong sense of tension," he added.
According to Japan's Defense Ministry, eight Chinese warships, including the Liaoning and a missile destroyer, traveled south between the main island of Okinawa and the prefecture's Miyako Island on May 1-2.
The Liaoning then sailed in areas between a point roughly 160 kilometers southwest of the Okinawa island of Okidaitojima and a point 150 kilometers south of Ishigaki Island, also in Okinawa, and fighter jets and helicopters based on the aircraft carrier repeatedly took off from and landed on the ship during the voyage.
The takeoffs and landings were conducted for six days in a row until Sunday. The fighter jets were also observed flying in formation after taking off from the aircraft carrier.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]