Japan will respond firmly but calmly against China’s air zone: PM Abe
- POSTED: 12 Dec 2013 18:04
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country will continue to respond firmly but in a calm manner against China's declaration of its Air Defence Identification Zone.
TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country will continue to respond firmly but in a calm manner against China's declaration of its Air Defence Identification Zone.
Speaking ahead of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit this week, Mr Abe on Thursday described China's move as an attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo in the region by coercive measures.
Last month, China heightened tensions by announcing the zone over the East China Sea.
Mr Abe said China's establishment of the Air Defence Identification Zone is a dangerous act and a problematic one. It may escalate tensions and cause unintended consequences.
Beijing wants aircraft entering the zone to provide a flight plan to Chinese authorities.
And Mr Abe is determined to defend resolutely its territory.
Mr Abe said: "Japan has repeatedly demanded China to revoke any measures that could infringe the freedom of flight in international airspace.
“In addition, the air zone includes the airspace over Senkaku islands, which is part of Japanese territory. This is as if it was a part of China's territorial airspace, and Japan can never accept this."
However, Mr Abe said he is open to dialogue with China to resolve the issue.
He said:"If I may refer to Japan and China bilateral relations, it is rather tough and difficult, but Japan-China relations is inseparable.
“Based on common strategic interests, we wish to further develop Japan-China relations, and the door of dialogue is always open and I hope and expect China to take the same attitude."
Mr Abe added he intends to work and coordinate together with ASEAN to maintain the freedom of flight in international airspace.
In the past one year since Prime Minister Abe assumed office, he has visited all 10 ASEAN countries. This certainly bodes well for Japan-ASEAN relations.
Mr Abe will meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday where both leaders are expected to further strengthen bilateral ties.