TOKYO - Japanese military and paramilitary planes have flown through China's newly declared air zone without any resistance from Chinese jets, an official and a report said Thursday.
The country's air force went unopposed into the Air Defence Identification Zone - which includes Tokyo-administered islands at the centre of a tense dispute between the two neighbours - the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing unnamed defence ministry sources.
A ministry official contacted by AFP could not immediately confirm the report, although the well-equipped coastguard said it had also flown in the area over the East China Sea.
"We've not changed our normal operation of patrolling the area where China declared its defence zone without reporting flight plans, We've not encountered Chinese jets," Yasutaka Nonaka, spokesman for Japan's coastguard told AFP.
The Chinese ADIZ requires aircraft to provide their flight plan, declare their nationality and maintain two-way radio communication - or face "defensive emergency measures".
But earlier this week the United States said it had sent B52 bombers into the area and the South Korean military said Thursday one of its planes had flown through it without informing Beijing.