• Kyodo

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The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets Friday after three pairs of Russian Tupolev Tu-95 bombers were detected flying around the Japanese archipelago, the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Office announced.

While the planes did not violate Japanese airspace, it was the sixth day in a row that Russian military planes have been spotted flying close to Japan.

It is rare for the ASDF to scramble jets against as many as six foreign aircraft in a day.

One Russian plane was spotted on Sunday, four on Monday, six on Tuesday, two on Wednesday and five on Thursday. They were either Tu-95 or Ilyushin Il-20 surveillance planes.

From Friday afternoon and into the night, a pair of Tu-95s flew over the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula and the East China Sea before moving north along the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago, the ministry said. The other two pairs entered the Sea of Japan from north of Hokkaido.

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