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  Thursday, June 4, 2020
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Japan's Defense Ministry said Saturday a Russian bomber briefly violated
Japan's Defense Ministry said Saturday a Russian bomber briefly violated the country's airspace early in the morning, but Russia denied the reports, saying its Air Force flight was in line with international regulations.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a protest to the Russian embassy in Tokyo over the alleged incident with a Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber taking place over the Sofugan pinnacle several hundred miles south of Tokyo which prompted 24 Japanese fighters, including F-15s, to take off.

But the Russian Air Force denied the reports. "Our strategic aviation aircraft did not violate Japan's airspace," deputy commander Lt. Gen. Igor Sadofyev said.

Earlier today, Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, an aide to the Air Force commander, said Russia's Tu-95 bombers successfully completed a more than 10-hour-long patrol flight over the Pacific.

"The strategic aviation flight was in line with the plan and in strict compliance with international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states," he said.

Russia and Japan have contested the ownership of the Kuril Islands for over 60 years, a dispute that has kept the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty after World War II.


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