Japan told China violation of airspace by balloons is unacceptable, spokesman says

February 15, 2023 5:15 pm

Matsuno Hirokazu. [Source: Reuters]

Japan told China that violations of its airspace by uncrewed surveillance balloons were absolutely unacceptable, a spokesman for the government said on Wednesday.

Japan’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that it “strongly suspects” Chinese surveillance balloons had entered Japanese territory at least three times since 2019.

Japan’s government is considering relaxing requirements on the use of weapons to defend against intrusions of its airspace, the Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday.

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Attention to past intrusions of Japan’s airspace has heightened since the United States shot down a Chinese balloon this month and briefed officials from 40 nations about the object.