Photo/IllutrationThe Asahi Shimbun

Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighters on Jan. 29 to intercept a Chinese military aircraft that flew along the Tsushima Strait that lies between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula, the Defense Ministry has announced.

The Chinese Y-9 surveillance aircraft approached from the west side of Tsushima island, entered the Japanese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and flew to the Sea of Japan off Shimane Prefecture, according to the ministry. It then returned through the strait before heading toward the East China Sea.

It was first spotted flying in the area in the morning and continued its maneuvers through the afternoon.

In Seoul, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that it also scrambled fighters on Jan. 29 after a Chinese military plane entered the Korean ADIZ.

The Chinese military aircraft entered South Korea’s ADIZ over Socotra Rock, which is south of Jeju Island off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, according to an official of the joint chiefs of staff.

The airplane then intruded into Japan’s ADIZ before flying back toward China, the official said.

Chinese military planes also entered both the Japanese and South Korean ADIZs on Dec. 18.

An ADIZ is set up just outside a nation's territorial airspace in the aim of preventing any violations of the airspace.

When dubious aircraft enter these zones, a nation scrambles fighters to identify and warn the violating aircraft it is in danger of a territorial violation.

(This article was written by Takateru Doi in Tokyo and Hajimu Takeda in Seoul.)