The initial deployment - another four of the aircraft are due to arrive in the coming days - was planned before China last month established an air defense identification zone covering islands controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing.
The Pentagon says it is routinely flying operations in the region, including in China's newly declared air defense zone, without informing Beijing ahead of time.
One U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters these routine operations include surveillance flights.
The deployment of the P-8As came before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left for Asia this week, where he is seeking to strike a balance between calming military tensions with China and supporting Japan as it wrangles with Beijing over the islands.
Join us on our
Share this page with your friends
on your favorite social network: