Tokyo: Japan's Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) on Thursday intercepted PLA's Y-9DZ electronic-warfare aircraft over the Pacific Ocean. The map given by Japan's Ministry of Defence hinted that the surveillance aircraft was detected approximately 225 kilometres south of the Yaeyama Islands in the southwest of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The Y-9DZ is China's newly developed electronic warfare version of the Y-9 aircraft, the report said. After detecting the aircraft, Japan's Air Self-Defense Force deployed fighter jets to visually identify and escort the Chinese military aircraft into international airspace, Ashish Dangwal said in the EurAsian Times reported.

The statement said, "On the morning of June 8, 2023 (Thursday), a Chinese Y-9 electronic intelligence aircraft was spotted flying over the Pacific Ocean." The statement did not give details regarding the specific fighter jet dispatched by the Japanese Ministry of Defence to intercept the Chinese military aircraft.

The Chinese airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft was seen at a time when the US and Japan are strengthening their cooperation in the face of the increasing Chinese military aggression in the region, as per the news report.

The region is witnessing an increase in the presence of spy aircraft deployed by both sides, potentially hinting at a rise in close-in intelligence-gathering activities with a goal to collect, categorise and evaluate various electromagnetic signals.

Apart from military aircraft, a Chinese navy survey ship also made an incursion into Japan's territorial waters near islands in Kagoshima Prefecture on June 8, the report said. In the past few years, Chinese ships have recurrently entered Japan's territorial waters or navigated through nearby areas.

China has also claimed these uninhabited islets which are under Japan's control and referred to as Diaoyu. The disputed islets continue to remain a cause of tension between Japan and China. according to EurAsian Times report.

While addressing a press conference, Tokyo's top spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said that Japan has officially filed a protest against China over the incursion of Chinese naval and coast guard vessels into Japan's territorial waters near the southwest archipelago.