Two F-15J Eagle aircraft of the 202nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), take off in formation during the joint U.S./Japan exercise Cope North 85-4.© SSGT. JAMES R. FERGUSON, USAF
TOKYO, November 18 (RIA Novosti) – Japan placed its air force on alert after two Russian bombers flew near its airspace, a local news agency reported Monday, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry.
The pair of Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers was spotted off Tokyo over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Kyodo news agency reported.
After flying south toward the island of Okinawa, they turned around and flew northeast along the length of the Japanese archipelago and then headed north toward the Russian island of Sakhalin, Kyodo said.
The bombers did not violate Japanese airspace, the agency reported.
Japan also put its air force on alert Saturday when two Russian Tupolev Tu-142 reconnaissance planes flew near the archipelago.
The planes again did not violate Japanese airspace, but Japan’s Defense Ministry says it is analyzing Russia’s intentions behind the fly-bys, Kyodo said.
Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces were put on alert 105 times between July and September because of close encounters with Russian aircraft, according to military authorities.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.