Tokyo: Eight Chinese military aircraft flew near the Japanese island of Okinawa in a manoeuvre that prompted the Japanese Air Self-Defence Forces (JASDF) to deploy its own jets in response.
At least two Chinese fighter aircraft on Sunday flew over the the Miyako Strait near to the southern island, the Japanese Ministry of Defence confirmed to EFE news.
The strait lies between Miyako and Okinawa islands in the East China Sea, a site of tense territorial dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku islands.
The ministry said it was the first time that Chinese warplanes passed through the area.
But the Chinese aircraft, which apparently comprised four H-6K bombers, two surveillance aircraft and two fighters, did not infringe on Japanese territorial airspace, the ministry noted.
The aircraft were apparently involved in a manoeuvre between the East China Sea and the Western Pacific.
The sovereignty dispute over Senkaku islands, administered by Tokyo, has intensified since Japan nationalised several uninhabited islets in 2012, and has increased the tension in the area following the increasing military deployment by both the countries.