While visiting the Japanese Self Defense Forces who have been sent to the Philippines to join in the relief efforts after a super typhoon ravaged the central part of the Southeast Asian nation, Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera has called on the global community of nations to oppose China’s new and highly-controversial air defense identification zone in the East China Sea. China has been saying that it might also do the same action in the South China Sea, where there are territories disputed by a number of Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.
Onodera discussed Japan’s concern over China’s action separately with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop. Onodera and Bishop had separately visited Tacloban City, in the central part of the Philippines, one of the areas most devastated by Typhoon Haiyan last month. In his meeting with Bishop, Onodera said that the international community “should meet to deal with this matter together” and that any unilateral action done by a nation through coercive means should be opposed. “If any country would establish a similar air zone in the South China Sea, that would bring up tension in the region and… that should be stopped,” Onodera added.
Onodera said that China‘s unilateral action – the creation of an air defense zone that overlaps with territories controlled by Japan – violates the spirit of the International Civil Aviation Organization treaty. The United States, Australia, South Korea and other countries have already expressed their concern over China’s actions. Beijing says all aircraft entering the vast area must now identify themselves to Chinese authorities and follow Chinese instructions. China’s ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing, said earlier this week that it was Beijing’s right to decide “where and when to set up” an air identification zone, hinting at the fact that China might set up a similar zone over the South China Sea.
[via The Republic]