Japan, South Korea Fly Military Planes in Zone Set by China
¶ TOKYO — Testing China’s response, Japanese military aircraft flew through a new air defense zone that Beijing has declared over disputed islands, a Japanese government spokesman said Thursday. He said there was no response to the flights by the Chinese side.
¶ The announcement of the flights came a day after American B-52 heavy bombers flew through the same airspace in defiance of China, which last weekend announced it had the right to police a vast area over much of the East China Sea. Beijing later said that it had monitored the American bombers but had chosen not to take action.
¶ On Thursday, the top Japanese government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said that Japan had followed suit by sending an unspecified number of patrol planes into the airspace, though he did not specify exactly when they had flown. The aircraft patrolled the airspace on routine reconnaissance flights without incident, and China did not scramble its fighter jets to intercept them, Mr. Suga said.