Japan urges global
action against Chinese air zone
AP, TACLOBAN, Philippines
Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera yesterday called on the
international community to oppose China¡¦s recently declared maritime air defense
zone over the East China Sea and possibly over the disputed South China Sea.
Onodera discussed Tokyo¡¦s concern over Beijing¡¦s action separately with
Philippine Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin and Australian Minister of
Foreign Affairs Julia Bishop.
Separately, Onodera and Bishop also visited central Tacloban City, which was
ruined by Typhoon Haiyan last month.
In his meeting with Bishop, Onodera said he mentioned that the international
community ¡§should meet to deal with this matter together¡¨ and that any
unilateral action by 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 I mentioned that should be stopped,¡¨ he
told reporters in Tacloban, where he visited a school serving as a shelter for
villagers who lost their homes in the Nov. 8 typhoon.
He said that the issue should be resolved by dialogue.
The US, Australia, South Korea and other countries have also expressed alarm
over China¡¦s new air identification zone.
Onodera said that China¡¦s unilateral action violates the spirit of the
International Civil Aviation Organization treaty.
Meanwhile, three Chinese ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled
islands in the East China Sea yesterday, the Japanese Coast Guard said, the
first such incident since Beijing announced an air defense identification zone
in the area last month.
The vessels entered the 12 nautical mile (22.2km) territorial waters at about
9am off one of the Senkaku Islands, the Japan Coast Guard said.
Taiwan and China also claimthe islands, which they call the -Diaoyutais (³¨³½¥x)
and the Diaoyu Archipelago (³¨³½¸s®q) respectively.
The Chinese ships left the area shortly after noon.
It was the first time that Chinese coastguard ships had been spotted sailing
through the waters since Beijing raised regional tensions with its declaration
of the zone last month.
Chinese vessels have sailed in and out of contiguous waters around the islands,
but stayed away from entering territorial waters since Nov. 22, a Japanese
coastguard official said.
Additional reporting by AFP