The Russian Defence Ministry said Thursday that a Russian Tu-95MS tagged Japanese fighters at certain stages of Russia's planned flight over the Pacific Ocean.
"Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a planned flight over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan, East China Sea, South China Sea and western part of the Pacific Ocean ... During certain stages of the route the Russian planes were shadowed by Japanese F-2 and F-15 fighters," the ministry said in a statement adding that the flight lasted for more than 14 hours.
The ministry stressed that the flight was carried out in full accordance with international law, and the rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters, without illegal crossing the Japanese airspace borders.
The NHK broadcaster reported Thursday that fighters of the Japan Self-Defence Forces took off to shadow the Russian plane, which had allegedly entered Japan's airspace.
The incidents occurred near Okinawa and the island of Hachijo-jima in the southern part of Japan, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Russian strategic and long-range aircraft regularly carry out flights over the Arctic region, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Black Sea. The Russian Defenсe Ministry has repeatedly said that all flights of Russian military aircraft are carried out in full accordance with international law, and the rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters.