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International relations

Japan scrambles fighters after Russian helicopter 'enters airspace'

Aircraft appears to bear red cross in incident off northern Hokkaido

A Russian serviceman jumps from the Mi-8 MTV military helicopter during an August 2020 demonstration in the Moscow region. Japan's Defense Ministry says an Mi-8 helicopter entered Japanese airspace on Oct. 2.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Russian helicopter entered Japanese airspace off Hokkaido, the country's northernmost main island, on Friday, prompting the scrambling of Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said.

The Mi8 helicopter invaded Japanese airspace near Cape Shiretoko, eastern Hokkaido, at around 12:25 p.m. and the ASDF fighters warned it over the intrusion, the ministry said.

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