The Defense Ministry is considering recording video of Chinese military aircraft, after fighter jets from that country repeatedly flew close to Self-Defense Force planes over the East China Sea, a senior SDF official said on Tuesday.
By taking footage of Chinese military aircraft operations from SDF planes, Japan hopes to better counter claims by Beijing, the official said.
The plan comes after China released a video clip last week that Beijing claims shows Japanese fighter jets flying unusually close to Chinese intelligence aircraft over the East China Sea, where the two countries’ air defense identification zones overlap due to their conflicting claims to the Senkaku Islands.
The Air Self-Defense Force scrambles fighters and takes still shots when unidentified aircraft enter Japan’s air defense identification zone.
The ministry is considering using video instead, but plans to decide on details later, according to sources.
Pilots would face a further burden if they are asked to record video while flying, the sources said.
China’s Su-27 fighters flew close to an OP-3C observation plane and a YS-11EB electronics surveillance aircraft on May 24 and June 11.
Japan criticized China over the incidents and released pictures showing the Chinese fighters.
The Chinese Defense Ministry blamed Japan for creating a dangerous situation by releasing on Thursday what it claimed was video footage of a pair of the ASDF’s F-15 fighters flying unusually close to two Tu-154 Chinese intelligence planes over the sea on Wednesday.