01:09 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Air-to-air refuelling of Tupolev Tu-95MS

    Japan Lodges Diplomatic Protest With Russia Over Tu-95MS Incident - Defenсe Minister

    CC BY-SA 3.0 / Alex Beltyukov / Air-to-air refuelling of Tupolev Tu-95MS
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Tokyo lodged a diplomatic protest with Russia after an incident with two Russian strategic bombers, stressing the need to prevent the recurrence of this situation in the future, Japanese Defenсe Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Friday.

    "At the moment, the intentions of the Russian side are being analyzed; therefore, we would like to refrain from prejudiced responses. The fact that the breach of [Japan's] airspace happened twice in a day causes regret. The protest was lodged with the Russian side through diplomatic channels but military officials ... would like to point out the unacceptability of such [a situation]," Iwaya said at a press conference as quoted by the NHK broadcaster.

    Earlier in the day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga refrained from making any comments on the matter and did not answer the question of whether the incident could affect a planned meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    The two leaders, who agreed in April to revive talks on resolving a long-standing territorial dispute, are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka later this month.

    On Thursday, the Japanese Defenсe Ministry claimed that the two TU-95MS bombers breached the Japanese airspace. Russia denied any intrusion, saying that its aircraft conducted routine flights over neutral waters in the Sea of Japan, East China and South China seas as well as the Pacific Ocean. Moscow also said the bombers were accompanied by Japanese fighter jets at some point during the flight.

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    diplomatic protest, Tu-95MS, Japan, Russia
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