New Chinese military drone spotted above waters north of Okinawa

Japan's Defense Ministry says it has spotted a Chinese military drone flying over the East China Sea, north of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture.

The ministry is keeping a close watch as the Wing Loong-10 variant was spotted in operation for the first time.

Ministry officials said they confirmed the WL10 reconnaissance and strike drone flying east from the direction of mainland China. It then took a northeasterly course before flying back in the direction it came from, taking the same route.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets, and the drone didn't violate Japan's airspace.

Photos taken at the scene show a drone with streamlined features.

The ministry says it was the first time aircraft were scrambled to intercept this type of drone. It also maintains this is the fifth type of Chinese military drone it has confirmed so far.

The ministry is keeping a close watch as the Chinese military is believed to be expanding its activities near Japan.