China is "highly vigilant" about Japanese jet fighter flights over islands claimed by both countries and Japan must bear responsibility for any consequences, military and maritime officials said yesterday. The officials were responding to Japan sending jet fighters several times in the past two weeks to intercept Chinese patrol planes approaching airspace above the Diaoyu Islands. "We will decisively fulfil our tasks and missions while co-ordinating with relevant departments ... so as to safeguard China's maritime law enforcement activities," said Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun.
The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.