Japan Air Self-Defense Force Spots Chinese WZ-7 Reconnaissance Drone over Sea of Japan for 1st Time; Chinese Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Confirmed as WZ-7 Type

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Defense Ministry head office in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

The Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that the Air Self-Defense Force scrambled its fighters that morning after a Chinese reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew over the Sea of Japan for the first time.

The UAV was a Chinese WZ-7 drone and did not intrude into Japanese territorial airspace, according to the ministry.

The Chinese drone came from the west over the Sea of Japan from the direction of continental Asia. The ministry assumed that it had flown through the territorial airspaces of North Korea or Russia before flying over the Sea of Japan.

The UAV flew over the Sea of Japan before turning back in the direction of continental Asia.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A WZ-7 reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle is seen in Guangdong Province, China, in September 2021.