Tokyo, Feb 7 (IANS) Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets Thursday entered Japanese airspace over Hokkaido island, forcing the Japanese government to lodge a protest on the issue with Russia, Xinhua reported.
The incident, the first to occur since February 2008, took place around 3 p.m. in the airspace over the territorial waters of Rishiri island in Hokkaido, the Japanese foreign ministry said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier said Japan will promote talks with Russia to resolve territorial dispute between the two countries.
Abe said he hopes the two countries could find solutions acceptable to both sides.
Japan and Russia are embroiled in a dispute over some islands north of Hokkaido since the end of the World War II.
The islands were called the Southern Kuril in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
The dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty.
Earlier this week, Russia launched a large-scale military drill on the Kuril Islands, involving artillery, air forces, navy and border troops. However, it was unclear whether the war games were held near the disputed islands.