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Japan Claims Chinese Reconnaissance Drone Flew Over Miyako Strait

The Japanese Ministry of Defense claims it detected a Chinese high-altitude long-endurance drone over the Miyako Strait.

According to the ministry’s statement, the Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon military drone flew over the East China Sea and passed through the islands of Okinawa and Miyakojima on Sunday, January 1.

The drone then reversed and returned after reaching the Sakishima Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

A day later, Japan claimed it intercepted another WZ-7 in the East China Sea along a similar path in the strait.

In response to both instances, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force’s Southwestern Air Command Support Flight was scrambled to the drone.

“This type of reconnaissance drone has been confirmed as an anti-aircraft intrusion measure,” the ministry said.

The event was the first to involve the detection of a Chinese WZ-7 in Japanese territory.

Map showing the path of the Chinese drone
Map showing the path of the Chinese Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon drone. Image: Japanese Ministry of Defense

Chinese Naval Activities

Meanwhile, Japan revealed it has deployed fighter planes and warships over the past two weeks in response to Chinese maneuvers and flight operations near the islands of Okinawa and Miyakojima.

The Chinese naval group included missile destroyers, five warships, and a Liaoning aircraft carrier, Reuters reported, citing the Japanese defense ministry.

The Chinese carrier group reportedly conducted more than 300 takeoffs and landings using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

The ministry stated that there were no incursions into Japanese territory.

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