Japan scrambles to avoid WW3: Record number of fighter jets sent to deal with China

Thursday, April 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

JAPAN scrambled a record number of fighter jets in the past 12 months amid sharply escalating tensions with China, official figures have revealed.

Thu, Apr 13, 2017

The Japanese Air Self Defence Force said fighter jets had been scrambled 1,168 times in the 12 months up to the end of March this year.

The overall figure is a sharp rise compared to the preceding 12 months when jets were deployed 873 times.

The previous high was 944 times back in 1984.

Of the total, a record 851 jets were used to ward off Chinese planes that were close to Japanese air space, a rise of 280 compared to the previous 12 months.

Russian planes, mostly bombers, were also of a particular concern after flying from the north and coming close to Japan, with 301 incidents – a rise of 4.5 per cent.

The figures come amid Japanese fears China is increasing its military activity as it attempts to gain influence in the East China Sea and areas of the western Pacific ocean, mainly focused around the chain of islands stretching for 870 miles from the mainland south toward Taiwan.

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