Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers performed an aerial patrol over the Sea of Japan, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
“Two Tu-95MS strategic long-range missile-carrying bombers performed a scheduled flight in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan. The flight lasted over seven hours,” the ministry said in a statement.
Sukhoi Su-30SM and Su-35S fighters provided support for the aerial patrol, the ministry said.
The crew of Russian long-range aircraft regularly perform flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic, the Northern Atlantic, the Black and Baltic Seas and the Pacific Ocean, the ministry said.
“The aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Forces perform all the flights in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the Defense Ministry stressed.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times had reported, strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Chinese Air Force conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.
“On November 30, 2022, the Aerospace Forces of Russia and the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] of China conducted another joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region.
An air group consisting of Tu-95ms strategic missile carriers of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Hong-6k strategic bombers of the PLA Air Force carried out air patrols over the waters of Japan and East China Seas,” the ministry said in a statement.
The flight of the Russian bombers lasted about eight hours. The aircraft were escorted by Su-30SM and Su-35S fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government plans to increase the budget of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) by 40% by 2027 over concerns about China’s growing activity near the disputed Senkaku Islands, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Wednesday, citing government sources.
The budget is expected to reach 320 billion yen ($2.4 billion) by 2027, which is 40% more than this fiscal year, the newspaper said, adding that the government would include the budget increase in a new policy document on strengthening maritime security, expected to be unveiled on Friday.
According to Yomiuri Shimbun, the move comes at a time when China is increasing its activity in Japan’s territorial waters and around the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese authorities were also concerned about the fact that China had recently started sending more heavily armed and larger ships to the area than previously, the newspaper added.
The government is also going to launch joint drills by the JCD with Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and increase cooperation between the country’s coast guard with international partners.
Both Japan and China have extended territorial claims over the Senkaku Islands. Japan insists on its sovereignty over the islands effective since 1895, while China points to the 1783 and 1785 Japanese maps designating the islands as Chinese territory. After World War II, the Senkaku Islands went under the control of the United States and were passed on to Japan in 1972.
Japan believes that China’s sovereignty claims over the islands follow the discovery of valuable minerals in their shelf waters in the 1970s. The territorial dispute escalated in 2012, when the Japanese government purchased three of the five islands from a private owner, in a move symbolizing Japan’s affiliation with the islands.
Inputs By Tass and Sputnik News Agency