China Conducts 570 Takeoffs, Landings at Flattop off Japan

Cortesy of Japan’s Defense Ministry
File Photo: Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—China conducted about 570 aircraft takeoffs and landings at its flattop Shandong in the Pacific Ocean off Japan over the nine days to Sunday, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff.

All these operations, which involved planes and helicopters based on the Chinese navy’s second aircraft carrier, took place on the high seas south of the southwestern Japan island of Miyako in Okinawa Prefecture, the Joint Staff said Monday.

Japan responded mainly by scrambling Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets.

The Shandong’s third entry into the Pacific was confirmed Oct. 28, according to the Defense Ministry.

The vessel moved in a wide area stretching from about 430 kilometers south of the island to 1,380 km southeast, forming a fleet with five to nine Chinese military ships including missile destroyers.

Maritime SDF destroyers and others confirmed that about 420 takeoffs and landings by fighter jets and 150 such operations by helicopters took place at the Shandong during the period to Sunday.

The Shandong and other Chinese ships were sailing toward the South China Sea on Monday. The MSDF destroyers remain engaged in warning and surveillance operations.