Japan had to scramble a record number of jets between March of 2016 and March of 2017, all thanks to Chinese planes that came close to encroaching on Japanese airspace.
The Japanese Air Self Defense Force was forced to scramble its fighter jets a whopping 1,168 times in the past 12 months, according to the U.K. Daily Express. That’s a lot more than the previous 12 months, which had seen only 873 similar incidents, and well more than the 12-month record of 944 back in 1984.
According to the U.K. Independent, the majority of the scramblings had to do with China’s activity in and around the East China Sea.
“Recently we have seen Chinese military aircraft operating further south and that is bringing them closer to the main Okinawa island and other parts of the island chain,” Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, the top Japanese military commander, said during a briefing in Tokyo.
It wasn’t just the Chinese, however. Encounters with Russian aircraft also caused 301 scramblings, a 4.5 percent rise.
Most of these, according to the Independent, had to do with Russian bombers which often skirt Japan’s northern airspace.
And this is far from Japan’s only military problem. Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his people that North Korea might be able to hit them with a ballistic missile with nerve gas.
“There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to deliver missiles with sarin as warheads,” Abe said before a parliamentary national security committee.
Abe said Japan needed to strengthen its defenses against Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Unfortunately, China, Russia, and North Korea aren’t going to stop anytime soon. Thankfully, neither are we — and it doesn’t sound like Shinzo Abe or the Japanese are going to, either.
H/T U.K. Daily Mail
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