The JASDF launched F-15J fighters, and an E-2C Hawkeye after a Chinese patrol plane was sighted in airspace over islands both countries claim.
The Senkaku Islands, also known as Diaoyu, Tiaoyutai, or Piannacle Islands, are islands controlled by Japan, in the East China Sea, west of Okinawa.
They were annexed by Japan in 1895, with a bonito processing plant built on them in 1900. The plant failed in 1940, and they have been deserted
After the surrender of Japan, the US controlled the islands, until 1972, when they were returned to Japan. They were privately owned and rented by
Japan from the family that owned them. In September of 2012 Japan bought the islands back from the Kurihara family and nationalized them.
The problem begins in 1969. The United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East identified significant oil and gas reserves in the area.
When the islands reverted to Japanese control in 1972, China and Taiwan both declared that the islands belong to them.
Fast forward to 2012. China has repeatedly launch patrols of the region, and on Thursday, four marine surveillance ships entered the area. A patrol
plane, B-3837 arrived over the islands at the same time. The patrol ships ordered Japanese ships in the area to leave immediately, as they were there
A Japanese Coast Guard patrol spotted B-3837 flying over the islands, and reported it. The JASDF immediately scrambled 8 F-15Js, and an E-2C Hawkeye
AWACS plane, to find the Chinese aircraft, and escort it from the area. By the time they arrived in the region, B-3837 had left the area.
B-3837 is a Harbin Y-12 type twin engine patrol plane, that would present no threat to other aircraft or ships. It's a small transport aircraft that
carries no weapons unless the crew is carrying small arms.
In my opinion, 8 F-15s was a bit excessive, but they may have been sending a message that the islands belong to Japan and no one else. No one in the
region even seemed interested in them until they found oil and gas under them. Then, like the Spratly Islands, everyone wanted them.
12/13/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)