Japan on Tuesday criticized South Korea for taking action against a Russian plane over what Japan says is its airspace, after Japan lodged a protest against both South Korea and Russia over the incident.
"Takeshima is Japan's territory," Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a news conference, referring to an island claimed by both South Korea and Japan. South Korea calls the island Dokdo.
"It is Japan that should take action against the Russian plane that entered its airspace. It is incompatible with Japan's stance that South Korea takes steps on that," Kono said.
South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots at the Russian military aircraft that entered South Korean airspace on Tuesday, South Korean defense officials said, while Russia denied violating any airspace and accused South Korean pilots of being reckless.
The Japanese government has lodged a protest against South Korea and Russia, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
"In light of Japan's stance regarding sovereignty over Takeshima, the South Korean military aircraft's having carried out warning shots is totally unacceptable and extremely regrettable," the top government spokesman said.
"We lodged a stern protest with South Korea and firmly demanded the prevention of a recurrence," he told a regular news conference, when asked specifically about Tokyo's protest against South Korea.
Two Russian bombers and two Chinese bombers entered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) together early on Tuesday, South Korea's defense ministry said.
A separate Russian early warning and control aircraft later twice violated South Korean airspace over the disputed island just after 9 a.m., according to the South Korean military.© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.