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Japan: 238 scrambles in 2023

Data confirm Tokyo-Beijing tension with 157 identifications of Chinese aircraft

The Ministry of Defense of Japan has communicated the data relating to the emergency take-offs of military aircraft to intercept unknown aircraft. In the first quarter of the year 2023, the fighters of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force carried out 238 scrambles, to prevent threats to Japanese airspace. These numbers confirm the regional tension between Tokyo and Beijing, with 157 identifications (66%) of Chinese aircraft.

The data were recently made official by the Joint Staff Office of Japan, which published a report related to the period between 1 April 2023 and 30 June 2023. In any case, the number of interceptions is in line with the data recorded in the same period of the previous year, equal to 235 scrambles, while further increasing the attention on China and Russia in the airspace surrounding Japan. 

For the first time, a Chinese Shaanxi Y-9DZ aircraft used for intelligence gathering was intercepted on 8 June 2023. Furthermore, the report by the Ministry of Defense of Japan highlighted two other episodes: two joint flights of Chinese and Russian aircraft on 6 and 7 June 2023 with the presence of about 620 fighters operating from the Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier of the Chinese navy Shandong sailing in the 'Pacific Ocean.

Gic - 1252718

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency