There is trouble again in the East China Sea, and it is predictably between military forces of disputing neighbors Japan and China. On Saturday, Japan claimed that Chinese fighter planes “buzzed” – which is the layman’s term for “flying dangerously close” – a Japanese Air Self Defense Force (SDF) aircraft which it claimed was flying over international waters. Now Japan is pushing for a line of communication between Japanese and Chinese authorities so that tense encounters like these – which could easily flare up and progress to a full-blown military confrontation – could be avoided.
China had earlier protested the ASDF aircraft’s presence in the area to begin with. China claims that the aircraft was conducting close-range surveillance and they had to scramble fighter planes in response to the provocative nature of the plane’s assumed activities. It can be remembered that China unilaterally declared an extended Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that covered most of the East China Sea – including the skies over disputed territory currently administered by Japan. Chinese authorities claim that the ASDF plane breached their ADIZ without permission.
The setup of a hotline between the maritime authorities of both nations would decidedly be an essential line of communication between the countries, given that the military and maritime elements of both Tokyo and Beijing tend to break each other’s boundaries time and again. This is why Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Akitaka Saiki had an important message to give to Cheng Yonghua, China’s ambassador to Japan – to protest the actions of the Chinese fighters, and to urge the initiation of this hotline so that these confrontations don’t happen. True to form, Cheng placed the responsibility on Tokyo’s lap, but said that he would communicate the idea of the proposed maritime hotline to his bosses in Beijing. Japanese Ambassador Masato Kitera similarly approached Liu Zhenmin in the Chinese capital, asking China’s vice minister for foreign affairs to agree to this new line of communication between the disputing countries.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan