The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets against Chinese aircraft approaching Japanese airspace a record 407 times in the first half of fiscal 2016.

According to figures released Friday by the Defense Ministry, the ASDF scrambled against foreign military planes, including Russian as well as Chinese aircraft, 594 times between April 1 and Sept. 30, up 251 from the same period last year.

China accounted for 70 percent of the incidents. The first-half figure of 407 is an increase of 176 from the 231 registered during the same period last year. The six-month figure is the highest since the ministry began releasing the data by country and region in fiscal 2001.