The Tokyo summit between Japan and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be from December 13-15, but already they have reportedly set out to make a statement about the ongoing controversy over China‘s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Reports say they are drafting a joint statement that will call for freedom of airspace over the high seas.
Aside from Japan, four ASEAN members – Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia – all have issues with China over territories either in the East China Sea or the South China Sea. The source says that the summit will “lack edge” if there will not be a statement against the ADIZ as it affects the security and stability of the region. This year’s edition will also mark the 40th anniversary of Japan’s ties with the ASEAN countries.
The draft statement reportedly indicates that freedom of airpsace is crucial for the different countries to be able to peacefully and diplomatically deal with their respective territorial disputes. The statement also states that Japan and the ASEAN will do what they can to be able to contribute to the peaceful development of the international aviation order. It is not indicated whether the communique will specifically mention China in the final draft, even as everyone knows that their move has caused such a statement to be developed in the first place. China lays claim to almost the entire South China Sea, which is believed to be a rich source of oil and gas.
[ via Reuters ]