SDF scrambles in FY2018 2nd highest on record
NHK -- Apr 13
Japan's Defense Ministry says the number of times Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets were scrambled in fiscal 2018 was the second-highest on record.

The ministry says that in the year that ended in March ASDF jets were scrambled 999 times against unidentified aircraft approaching Japan's airspace. That's an increase of 11 percent from fiscal 2017.

638 scrambles, or 64 percent of the total, were against Chinese aircraft. The number against Russian aircraft was the second-highest at 343, or 34 percent of the total.

In April last year, an unmanned aircraft believed to be from China flew about 160 kilometers north of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

The Defense Ministry says that because of increased activity by Chinese aircraft it will continue its patrols and monitoring efforts.

News source: NHK
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