TOKYO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Defense Ministry said that two Russian fighters entered Japanese airspace in Hokkaido on Thursday, local media reported.
The Japanese government has lodged protest on the issue with Russia, said Japan's Foreign Ministry.
The incident, which is the first one since February 2008, took place at about 3 p.m. local time in the airspace above territorial waters of Rishiri Island in the Hokkaido, according to the ministry.
The airspace breach by Russia's Su-27 fighters immediately followed remarks made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the day that Japan will promote talks with Russia to resolve territorial dispute between the two countries.
Abe said he hopes the two countries could find solutions acceptable to both sides. The prime minister had conveyed the willingness to Russian President Vladimir Putin after Abe returned to power last December.
Japan and Russia are in quarrels on a series of islands north of Japan's Hokkaido since the end of the World War II. The islands were called as the Southern Kuril in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
The dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty.
On Tuesday, Russia launched a large-scale military drill on the Kuril Islands, involving artillery, air forces, navy and border troops. However, it is unclear that whether or not the war game was conducted in the disputed islands.
BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Akitaka Saiki plan to meet on Friday. They will discuss their long-standing territorial dispute ahead of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s visit to Russia in December.Full story