Japan air force scrambles after 2 Russian fighters enter airspace
In this photo taken by Japan Air Self-Defense Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan, a Russian fighter jet SU-27 flies over the sea off the Japanese island of Hokkaido Thursday afternoon, Feb. 7, 2013. (Joint Staff Office of Defense Ministry of Japan)
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:01AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2013 8:56AM EST
TOKYO -- Japan's Defence Ministry says two Russian fighters briefly intruded into Japanese airspace off the northern tip of the island of Hokkaido.
Ministry official Yoshihide Yoshida says the intrusion Thursday, which lasted less than a minute, caused Japan's air force to scramble.
Yoshida says it was not immediately known whether the airspace violation was intentional or accidental, but that it was "extremely problematic."
He says the last intrusion by Russian jets in Japanese airspace was on Feb. 9, 2008.