Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the Ministry of Defense Saturday to reconsider the deployment of its fighter jets in response to the recent air encounters over the Diaoyu Islands between Chinese planes and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
On Saturday, Abe held a conference to discuss with the Japan Coast Guard and Ministry of Defense on the surveillance mechanism in waters near the islands, which Japan calls the Senkaku islands, and also asked to adjust the deployment of the coast guard's vessels, according to NHK.
China's maritime surveillance plane first entered the airspace over the Diaoyu Islands on December 13, while Chinese government ships have moved in and out of waters there for the past few months.
In the second half of December, Chinese maritime planes have entered Japan's self-proclaimed air defense identification zone four times. Each time the Japan Air Self-Defense Force responded by scrambling jets to head off Chinese planes, according to NHK.
The last encounter occurred on Saturday, when a Chinese Y-12 maritime plane entered airspace near the Diaoyu Islands. The Japanese authority said it did not enter "Japanese airspace."
China's defense ministry on December 27 said the military is "highly vigilant" concerning relevant Japanese Air Self-Defense Force activity in the airspace over the Diaoyu Islands.