Chinese Bombers Pass between Okinawa Islands

A Chinese Xian H-6 jet bomber drops a bomb during the Aviadarts competition, as part of the International Army Games 2021, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 27, 2021.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Two Chinese H-6 bombers passed between the main island of Okinawa and Miyakojima island, both in Okinawa Prefecture, on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Office said.

The bombers flew in a southern direction from the East China Sea and then circled over the Pacific Ocean before going back in the opposite direction.

The Air Self-Defense Force responded to the incident and confirmed no incursion into Japanese airspace. The Chinese bombers were loaded with what appeared to be anti-ship missiles, ministry officials said.

According to the ministry, such a flight by a Chinese warplane was last observed in February. The ministry is looking for any connections between the latest flight and the activity of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning in nearby waters since earlier this month.

Over 200 aircraft landings and takeoffs have been seen on the Liaoning sailing south of Okinawa in the Pacific. The bombers may have conducted detection and combat drills jointly with the aircraft carrier.