Japan on Wednesday said it expressed “grave concern” to Russia and China over what Tokyo described as a “show of force” after the two countries conducted a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We cannot overlook actions that heighten tensions in East Asia when Russia has already increased tensions in Ukraine,” said Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s top government spokesperson.
Tokyo has conveyed its “grave concern” to Beijing and Moscow, Kyodo News reported.
At least six military jets from Russia and China carried out a joint air patrol mission in the Asia-Pacific region.
Russian aerospace forces and air forces of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army held a 13-hour flight as part of an air group over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“The militaries of China and Russia staged the joint aerial strategic patrol in accordance with their annual military cooperation plan,” its Chinese counterpart said in a separate statement.
The air patrol was held as the leaders of Japan, the US, Australia, and India were meeting in Tokyo as part of their Quad alliance.
Matsuno called the patrol a “show of force,” adding that the fact that it was “conducted during the summit raises the level of provocation.”
“The government strongly demands China play a responsible role in maintaining peace and security in the international community,” said the Japanese government spokesman.
Meanwhile, Japanese lawmaker Masahisa Sato, chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign affairs division, said: “China has demonstrated itself as a rogue nation.”
“We must show a stern stance based on international law against such an aberrant show of force,” Sato said, suggesting that Japan should “consider sailing defense force vessels to the Taiwan Strait.”