RF Ministry of Defense: Russian fighters did not cross the Japanese border
The Russian fighters did not violate Japanese airspace, even for "a few seconds". This statement was made by a spokesman for the eastern military district, Colonel Alexander Gordeyev. In addition, he confirmed that on February 7, 2013 the aircraft of the district conducted routine flights over the Sea of Japan.
"In the area of the Kuril Islands routine exercises of troops of the Eastern Military District are conducted involving machine gun-artillery units and fighter, attack and army aviation power, ships of the Pacific Fleet, as well as the crew of border operation units stationed in the island area," said Gordeyev.
According to spokesman for the Eastern Military District, all flights of the district aircraft are strictly regulated by the command of the formation and conducted under the supervision of air traffic control. In addition, flights of military aircraft are recorded by means of objective control. All flights, according to assurances of the spokesman for the Eastern Military District, are conducted in strict accordance with international regulations on the airspace use, not violating the borders of other states.
Earlier, Japan's Defense Ministry said that two Russian fighters for a few seconds entered Japanese air space. Despite the fact that this supposedly happened only for a few seconds, four Japanese fighters were raised to intercept the Russian aircrafts.
A previous similar incident occurred on February 8, 2012. Near the island of Hokkaido close to the airspace of Japan, two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers flew accompanied by two Su-24 front reconnaissance aircraft and an airborne warning and control system A-50 aircraft.
Then the Japanese fighters took off too, although Tokyo acknowledged that there was not any violation of Japanese airspace.