A Boeing 747 flying from Beijing to New York was hijacked and forced to fly to Tokyo, Japanese authorities and broadcast reports said.
Japan's Defense Agency and air authorities said the Chinese aircraft was about to land at Fukuoka's international airport, on Japan's westernmost main island of Kyushu.The Japan Broadcasting Corp. said the plane was a Chinese airline's Boeing 747 that left Beijing for New York and entered Japan's airspace at 2:11 p.m.
In Beijing, an official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the state airline administration, said, "It's possible" when asked about the reported hijacking, but said he had no information.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted unidentified government sources as saying that a Chinese plane on a domestic flight was hijacked and flew over South Korea's southernmost island of Cheju at about 1:40 p.m.
There was no information in the reports about the type of plane or the number of people on board.
Several Chinese airliners have been hijacked in recent years, with South Korea or Taiwan the demanded destination.
In 1983, six Chinese hijacked a plane to South Korea. They were imprisoned for less than a year and resettled in Taiwan, where they received heroes' welcomes.
Two men hijacked another domestic flight to Taiwan in May 1988. A hijacking attempt in April failed when the pilot pretended to comply with the hijacker's demand to go to Taiwan but instead landed at the mainland city of Fuzhou. The hijacker committed suicide by detonating explosives strapped to his back.