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Japanese Flight Offends South Koreans

Seoul protests Japanese plane’s flight near Dokdo

The government issued a strong protest against Tokyo Tuesday (March 8) after South Korean military jets made a sortie to the skies over the Dokdo islets in the East Sea to send away a Japanese civilian plane trying to fly over the area without permission.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade lodged the protest through the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. It called for appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence of similar actions, according to ministry officials.

The airplane attempted to enter the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) over Dokdo, South Korea’s easternmost islets in the East Sea, a military officer said.

The Air Force dispatched four fighter jets to warn the aircraft, owned by the Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese daily.

``Around 8:21 a.m., an airplane unilaterally notified the Air Control Center (ACC) in Incheon of its plan to enter the zone,’’ the officer told reporters. ``It returned to Japan as the South Korean authorities disallowed it.’’

The reason for the plane’s flight was not immediately known, but officials believe it was to take photographs of the Dokdo islets, which Japanese call "Takeshima.’’

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