Tokyo: As the leaders of three countries gathered in this Japan capital for the Quad Summit, in an apparent show of strength, six Chinese and Russian bombers flew close to Japan on Tuesday.
Japanese Defence Ministry confirmed that the two nations flew their bombers over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the Pacific from morning till afternoon.
This took place at the time when Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was hosting a meeting with leaders of the United States, Australia and India.
Japan’s defence ministry reads the act as a way of these two nations to show their disapproval of the Quad summit that was being held in Tokyo at that time.
The Japanese defense ministry said that Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighters in response to these bombers. The ministry added that this was the first time that Beijing and Moscow conducted such an operation since November, 2021.
While addressing the press, Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said, “The military drill carried out by the two countries’ bombers near our nation during the meeting of the leaders of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, was intended to be an act of demonstration.”
Kishi noted that this is a serious incident, which Japan “can never overlook”.
He said the fact that China undertook this operation in tandem with Russia is even more alarming. “Russia, an aggressor nation, at a time when the international community has been responding to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine,” he was quoted as saying.
Kishi described this as an escalatory move and said that Japan has conveyed it’s concerns to the two nations through diplomatic channels.
The Russian and Chinese defense ministries had announced a “joint patrol” by warplanes of the two nations over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted by Tass as saying that the aircraft of both countries “acted strictly in accordance with the provisions of international law, there were no violations of the airspace of foreign states.”