Two Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers flew along the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago Sunday, prompting the Air Self-Defense Force to scramble fighters, the Defense Ministry said.
The bombers did not violate Japanese airspace, the ministry’s Joint Staff said. The move came a day after two Tupolev Tu-142 patrol planes did nearly the same thing. The ministry is analyzing Russia’s motive for the flights.
On Sunday, the Tu-95 bombers were spotted off Tokyo over the Pacific. After flying near Hachijo Island, they flew southwest toward Okinawa, turned around and went northeast along the archipelago before flying over disputed islands off Hokkaido to Sakhalin, it said.