According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that China’s new air defense zone is unenforceable, continuing a war of words over China’s announcement of claiming the air space above territory that includes islands claimed by both countries. Abe told a parliamentary session that China’s declaration of the zone above the islands – known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyus in China – has altered the state of affairs in the East China Sea and escalated an already tense territorial dispute.
“The measures by the Chinese side have no validity whatsoever on Japan, and we demand China revoke any measures that could infringe upon the freedom of flight in international airspace,” Abe said during an Upper House session. “It can invite an unexpected occurrence and it is a very dangerous thing as well.” Abe said that the Chinese measures are one-sided and impose rules set by the Chinese military on all flights in the zone, a situation that violates freedom to fly above open sea according to international law. On Saturday, Beijing had announced the zone by making public a map of the zone and a set of rules, which say all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities and are subject to emergency military measures if they do not identify themselves or obey Beijing’s orders. The area covers most of the East China Sea and includes the disputed territories.
Earlier on Monday, China’s foreign ministry had complained to the United States over its “irresponsible remarks” about China’s announcement of the zone. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, and secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, both have made clear that the US is “deeply concerned” about China’s unilateral action. “This unilateral action constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” Kerry said in a statement released on Saturday. “Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.”
[via The Guardian]