China, Russia deny Japanese accusations

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's defense minister has protested the intrusion of two Russian fighter jets into Japanese air space — although Russia has denied any such violation — amid heightened tension over territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors.

Tokyo said two Russian Su-37 fighters entered Japanese airspace off the northern island of Hokkaido for just over a minute Thursday, prompting Japanese air force jets to scramble.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Friday that Tokyo will deal with the incident "strictly, within the bounds of international law."

Separately, China's Defense Ministry issued a statement denying Japanese claims that Chinese naval vessels had locked their weapons-targeting radar on to a Japanese destroyer and helicopter in separate instances last month.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida rejected Beijing's denial as "completely unacceptable."

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