26 November 2013, 23:41

Flights over Senkaku Islands were unrelated to dispute between Japan and China - US

Flights over Senkaku Islands were unrelated to dispute between Japan and China - US

The US military flew two aircraft over islands in the East China Sea under dispute between Japan and China, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman, said the planes were not armed and had an "uneventful flight" during the long-planned missions, which occurred early Tuesday.

Crosson said the flights over the Senkaku Islands were unrelated to the dispute between Japan and China. China on Saturday declared an air defence zone in the East China Sea, the latest in a series of incidents in its escalating dispute with Japan over the islands.

"Last night (Washington time) two military aircraft on a longstanding planned training mission flew into the vicinity of the Senkaku islands," Crosson told dpa. "It was a routine, planned training mission."

He said the mission had been planned "well before" China established the new air defence zone.

Crosson did not identify the aircraft or confirm reports that they were B-52 bombers.

He said he was not aware of any protests from China.

Voice of Russia, dpa

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