(Reuters) - Two Russian bombers briefly entered Japan's air space near its major southern island of Kyushu on Thursday, prompting Japan to scramble its fighter jets and lodge a protest, the Japanese government said, but Russia denied any intrusion.

The two TU-95 bombers spent less than two minutes in Japan's airspace, in the first such incursion since February, when two Russian fighter jets entered Japan's air space near its main northern island of Hokkaido, the Japanese defense ministry said.