TOKYO—Japan said Russian fighter jets intruded on its airspace for the first time in five years, raising tensions between the two countries at the same time that Tokyo is engaged in a similar high-stakes tangle with China.
Russia quickly denied Japan's accusation, but the simultaneous spats on both Japan's northern and southern borders underscore the regional security challenges faced by a new Japanese prime minister elected on a promise to toughen his country's defense of its islands. It comes as the U.S.—Japan's chief military ally—has vowed to raise its presence in Asia, but the U.S. also is facing across-the-board budget cuts and seeking to reduce its global military footprint as it winds down a decade of wars.
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