Two Japanese military planes passed over the sea May 24 and allegedly intruded on Chinese-Russian naval drills, a Chinese Defense Ministry statement said. Responding Chinese aircraft, which flew unusually close to the Japanese planes, were the cause of a protest resolution passed in the lower house of Japan's Diet.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei claimed it was irresponsible for the parliamentary chamber to pass such a measure, which he said was taken to defame China and promote the idea of a "China threat." He added the protest will mislead the public, undermine bilateral ties between the two countries and worsen tensions.
"We urge the Japanese side to respect facts, self-reflect and cease provocations," Hong said.