Kyodo News Agency
May 25, 2022

Japan conveys grave concern over China-Russia bomber flight

Japan has conveyed “grave concern” to China and Russia over a flight of strategic bombers during a Quad summit held in Tokyo, the government said Wednesday.

Six Chinese and Russian strategic bombers flew over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the Pacific on Tuesday in apparent protest at the meeting that day of the leaders of Japan, the United States, Australia and India.

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“We cannot overlook actions that heighten tensions in East Asia when Russia has already increased tensions in Ukraine,” Matsuno said in a regular press conference.

He also said China dared to conduct the drill despite ongoing international efforts to stop Russia’s aggression, and the government “strongly demanded China play a responsible role in maintaining peace and security in the international community.”

Masahisa Sato, a lawmaker who leads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s foreign affairs division, criticized Beijing, saying, “China has demonstrated itself as a rogue nation.”

“We must show a stern stance based on international law against such an aberrant show of force,” Sato said calling on the government to consider sailing defense force vessels to the Taiwan Strait.

Following the summit, the Quad leaders expressed opposition to changing the status quo by force in any part of the world. There is a strong sense in much of Asia, where China’s assertiveness is increasingly being felt, the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine will extend beyond Europe.

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The Chinese and Russian defense ministries announced that their warplanes conducted a “joint patrol” over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

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