Beijing downplayed recent complaints from Japan on July 24 that a Chinese Y-8 early warning plane flew through international airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and Miyako island, saying the flight was part of routinely scheduled training.
A press office spokesman of China's Ministry of National Defense said the training does not target any nation and the flyover was in accordance with international law.
This marks the first time a Chinese military craft entered this airspace.
According to reports, the craft flew over international waters between Okinawa and Miyakojima, an island relatively close to the disputed islands in the East China Sea before reaching the Pacific and flying back along the same route.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force immediately dispatched jets to track the plane despite not having entered Japanese airspace.
The joint staff office of Japan's defense ministry published photos of the craft and its flight path.
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