TOKYO, Jan 25 (KUNA) -- Japan scrambled fighter jets to intercept foreign military aircraft approaching Japanese airspace 785 times from April to December last year, marking the highest level for the same period over the past five years, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The figure in the nine-month period already surpassed 725 times registered in the full fiscal year that ended in March 2021, according to the ministry's Joint Staff.
By country, the largest number of operations in the nine months through December 31 was made against Chinese airplanes at 571 times, up 240 times from a year before and accounted for 73 percent of the total.
Japan and China are at odds in a dispute over the sovereignty of the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Japanese Air Self-Defense Force jets also scrambled against Russian planes at 199 times, compared with 206 a year earlier. (end) mk.aa