Japan scrambled fighter jets to accompany the Russian bombers for parts of their flight over the Sea of Japan, according to the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday.
The Russian bombers also flew over the Sea of Okhotsk and the eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean.
The ministry said two Russian Tupolev-95MS strategic bombers — escorted by Russian Sukhoi-35S fighters — flew more than 15 hours in the air and carried out in-flight refueling, Presstv reported.
Russia’s strategic bombers regularly carry out flights over the international waters of the Arctic, the Atlantic Ocean, the Black Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, according to the Tass news agency.
The Defense Ministry said that all such flights were in strict compliance with international law and without any violation of other countries’ airspace.
Russia and Japan are locked in a decades-long dispute over a group of Pacific islands claimed by both sides. The islands have been a bone of contention since the conclusion of World War II.