Tags: china | japan | us | diplomacy | air | defense

Japan PM to Discuss China Air Zone With Biden

Sunday, 01 Dec 2013 07:06 AM

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he would discuss China's expansion of its air defense zone with Vice President Joe Biden in Tokyo to coordinate their stance after apparently contradictory responses.

China raised regional tensions with its declaration last weekend of the zone, which covers islands in the East China Sea at the center of a dispute between Beijing and Tokyo, and demands that aircraft submit flight plans when traversing the area.

Tokyo has stopped Japanese airlines from submitting flight plans to Beijing but Washington said Friday it generally expected U.S. carriers to "operate consistent with" notification policies issued by foreign countries.

"We want to hold consultation with U.S. Vice President Biden who will visit Japan this week and deal with the matter by coordinating closely between Japan and the United States," Abe said.

Biden is due to arrive in Tokyo late Monday for a 34-hour visit as part of his East Asian tour which will also take him to China and South Korea.

The State Department statement was widely taken in Japan to mean Washington had effectively advised US airlines to comply with the Chinese demand.

But Abe and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Washington had not explicitly requested U.S. carriers to submit flight plans to Beijing.

"We have confirmed it through diplomatic channels," Abe told reporters, according to Jiji Press news agency.

Onodera, speaking on public broadcaster NHK, said: "The U.S. government is taking the same stance with Japan" over the air defense zone.

"The U.S. side has rather been quicker than Japan in responding to this issue. It has issued a strong message," the defense chief said.

China's announcement last weekend that it was extending an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, claimed by Beijing as the Diaoyus, was disregarded by several nations, and U.S. B-52 bombers entered the area.

The Pentagon has indicated that American military forces would continue normal operations, despite China scrambling fighter jets to monitor U.S. and Japanese aircraft in the zone.

Jiji said Abe and Onodera were possibly trying to deny any damaging difference between the Pacific allies over the air zone issue.

Onodera also cited press reports that China might "make similar moves in the South China Sea," where Beijing is involved in territorial disputes with several neighboring countries.

"I think a sense of tension will run through countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," he said. "The international community as a whole should not condone such unilateral approach."

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he would discuss China's expansion of its air defense zone with Vice President Joe Biden in Tokyo to coordinate their stance after apparently contradictory responses.
china,japan,us,diplomacy,air,defense
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2013-06-01
Sunday, 01 Dec 2013 07:06 AM
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