Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force scrambled aircraft in response to a flight by Chinese fighters and bombers through a key entryway into the Pacific Ocean between Okinawa and Miyako Island, the Defense Ministry said.

Two Chinese fighters and bombers, as well as two other surveillance planes, flew through the Miyako Strait on Friday. The flight, which did not infringe on Japanese territorial airspace, was legal but went through a politically sensitive area.

It was the second such flight since September, when Beijing dispatched at least eight fighters and bombers through the area — apparently to send a message to Tokyo.

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