Home » Aviation » China and Japan Trade Barbs Over ‘Shameless’ Fighter Buzz

China and Japan Trade Barbs Over ‘Shameless’ Fighter Buzz

A Japanese F-15J allegedly buzzing a Chinese Tu-154 on Wednesday.

A Japanese F-15J allegedly buzzing a Chinese Tu-154 on Wednesday.

China has asked Japan to stop “provocative actions and words,” following a Wednesday encounter over the East China Sea when a Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) Mitsubishi F-15J allegedly buzzed a Chinese Tupolev Tu-154 (NATO reporting name: Careless) over the East China Sea.

Video released from the Chinese show a F-15J near the wingtip of what appears to be a Careless.

“We believe there is no truth in China’s assertions that Japanese fighter planes came within 30 meters of a Chinese plane and severely affected the flight’s safety,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday, according to a Friday report by wire service Reuters.
“The airplanes (in the video) are different.”

Japanese officials asked China to pull down the video. China in turn said that Japan was attempting to, “deceive the international community.”

“Facing hard facts, the Japanese side’s remarks, in my view, are shameless, nonsense and unreasonable. We urge Japan to immediately stop any provocative actions and words,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a Friday press briefing reported by the state controlled Xinhua news service.
“The Chinese pilot’s operation was professional, standard and maintained restraint. The Japanese pilot’s practice was dangerous, and obviously provocative in nature,” according to a statement on the Chinese Ministry of Defense’s website.

For its part, Japanese officials said its planes were responding to a pair of Chinese Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers operating near Japanese military aircraft in a portion of the East China Sea where both countries claim as protected airspace.

The incident is the latest between the two regional rivals along their borders.

Reuters reported the Japan has scrambled fighters 415 times from March 2013 to March 2014 — a 38 percent increase from year before.

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Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • Christopher Brooke

    I don’t see any issue here. Looks like a standard visual intercept and escort

    • TokyoTengu

      That’s exactly what it was.

      • But what is the “The airplanes (in the video) are different.” deal?

        • TokyoTengu

          The JASDF F-15J in the first half of the clip has the registration No. 868 on the fuselage slightly ahead of the cockpit. The F-15 in the second half of the video is No. 815. So either the JASDF sent up two F-15s, which I am sure the Chinese would have mentioned and would have been very unusual for a single Tu-154, or the Chinese spliced together two intercepts. Why, i have no idea because neither aircraft were that close to the Chinese bird and were not maneuvering aggressively.

          In any case, as was previously mentioned, this is a simple, standard, run-of-the-mill intercept that happens daily in many locations around the world when one nation sends snoops and the other send fighters up to make sure the snoopies are indeed just snooping, and are not carrying nasty things.

          In fact, in these situations, if bombers are involved, it’s not uncommon for both the Russians and the US aircraft to open their payload doors and let the fighter jocks on the other side maneuver underneath to make sure they are not carrying bombs or missiles.

  • KenPrescott

    Yeah, that’s pretty tame compared to Wang Wei’s intercept. What was the last thing to go through his mind? The EP-3’s radome . . .

  • Secundius

    I think coming along side of opposing forces aircraft, and sizing each other up. Hardly qualifies as buzzing! I think when you are actually buffeted by the wake of the opposing aircraft, does qualify as buzzing.

  • Ruckweiler

    Interesting that the Red Chinese, of all countries in the region, are complaining about provocations.

    • Secundius

      Yeah, it is an oxymoron isn’t it!

  • NofDen

    I think he is too close, about staying a mile away? For everyone.