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To plan for Taiwan crisis, Japan must revisit 1976 Soviet shock

Tokyo must look to gaps in its own defense, not just to faraway ally US

Members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces hold an opening ceremony of a new military base on the island of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture, on March 28, 2016.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Few may remember it today, but Sept. 6, 1976, was a day unlike any other in Japan's postwar defense history.

That afternoon, an unidentified fighter jet landed without authorization at Hakodate Airport in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido. What later became known as the MiG-25 Incident revealed the weakness of Japan's defense capabilities.

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