China’s new air defense zone above Senkakus ‘very dangerous’ escalation, Japan says


The government branded as “very dangerous” China’s announcement Saturday that it has set up an East China Sea air defense identification zone that includes the Japan-held Senkaku Islands.

The Chinese Defence Ministry said the zone was created to “guard against potential air threats,” but the move will only inflame a bitter sovereignty row over the islets, which China claims as Diaoyu.

Later Saturday, China scrambled air force jets, including fighter planes, to patrol the new zone.

Its outline is shown on the ministry website and a Chinese state media Twitter account — It covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan, and includes the Senkaku islets.

In Tokyo, Junichi Ihara, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, lodged a protest by phone with Han Zhiqiang, a minister at the Chinese Embassy, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Ihara was quoted as telling Han that Japan can “never accept the zone set up by China,” as it includes the Senkakus. He further said the new zone will “escalate” already fraught bilateral ties over the uninhabited but potentially resource-rich islet chain, branding China’s move “very dangerous,” the statement said.

Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki plans to summon Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua as early as possible Monday to state Tokyo’s position on the matter.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Saturday that the establishment of the zone, which China said entered into force as of 10 a.m. Saturday, was aimed at “safeguarding state sovereignty, territorial land and air security, and maintaining flight order.”

“It is a necessary measure in China’s exercise of self-defense rights. It has no particular target and will not affect the freedom of flight in relevant airspace,” Yang said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

“China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition, and it hopes all relevant sides positively cooperate and jointly maintain flying safety,” he said.

Along with the new zone, the Chinese ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that it says must be followed by all aircraft entering the area, under penalty of intervention by China’s military.

Aircraft are now expected to provide their flight path, clearly mark their nationality and maintain two-way radio communication in order to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities.

Shen Jinke, spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, reported late Saturday that it had conducted a sweep of the area using early warning aircraft and fighter jets. “The patrol is in line with international common practices, and the normal flight of international flights will not be affected,” Shen said.

Four Chinese Coast Guard boats briefly entered Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkakus on Friday, after multiple incursions at the end of October and the beginning of this month further aggravated tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in late October said the repeated incursions are a threat to peace and fall in a “gray zone (between) peacetime and an emergency situation.”

A few days earlier, his Chinese counterpart had threatened Japan that any bid to shoot down China’s drones would constitute “an act of war.” That move came after a report said Japan had drafted plans to destroy foreign drones that encroach on its airspace if warnings to leave are ignored.

Sino-Japanese relations have remained icy for more than a year because of the Senkakus dispute, which was revived when Japan purchased three of the five main islets in September 2012, effectively nationalizing the entire chain. Since then, China has regularly sent coast guard vessels to the islets, which lie 400 km west of Okinawa and 200 km northeast of Taiwan.

  • Dewreck

    China wants to wake up Godzilla? God help China if japan returns to its warrior roots.

    • rabidfox2

      Not likely to happen, however.

  • T S

    It is no longer in the US interest to have a demilitarized Japan. China needs someone local to fear, and our Japanese allies would be a truly formidable foe if only allowed to be.

    • rabidfox2

      I don’t think that Japan (or the rest of the world for that matter) cares too much about what America thinks any more.

      • Far East

        I disagree. I am a foreigner living in Japan for over a decade, and can tell you the Japanese are close friends to the US. This is underpinned by the volume of travel and studying and business exchange as well, not to mention the positive notes during conversation about US topics.

      • WBC

        You’re wrong. The rest of the world cares very much what Americans think. They’re just very confused about what the current American regime thinks (or whether it thinks at all).

      • Glen Douglas Brügge

        America still possess one of the most formidable military machines in the world, with a very strong international presence to boot. And if things begin to unravel in the East, America is the only nation capable of doing anything about it. Due to the limitations placed on the SDF, America holds Japan’s trump card.

    • Russ Miller

      It is also no longer in Japan’s interest…and that is more important.

      Do not underestimate the Japanese naval ability as it stands right now.

  • Engage Gray Matter

    “Sino-Japanese relations have remained icy for more than a year because of the Senkakus dispute, which was revived when Japan purchased three of the five main islets in September 2012, effectively nationalizing the entire chain”. Who did Japan pay for this purchase? That would have been helpful in the article. And if Japan has purchased said islands, they should build on them, place a Japanese Coast Guard unit there (rather than an outright military base) and a listening post. And tell the Chinese to go to go pack sand.

    • Scott Reynolds

      They bought them from a private (Japanese) citizen who was the owner. The Senkakus were already Japanese territory under Japanese administrative control before that. The reason for the purchase was to stop a plan by the nutball governor of Tokyo to purchase the islands and build some sort of weather station or other facility on them that would needlessly antagonize the Chinese. In other words, the purpose of the purchase was to *avoid* ruffling Chinese feathers, not the opposite.

      • Evan Dickinson

        The Chinese are not emotional basketcases who just wanna get along. They are slowly claiming more and more territory around them. Against an upcoming bully a show of strength is necessary. There is no other way.

    • Deanology

      Perhaps easier said than done. Japan on its own is certainly no match against the Chinese.

  • Bruce Gregory

    Well, just a matter of time before China’s air defense zone includes Taiwan.

    • Minnalousha

      Guam, Hawaii, California…

    • Evan Dickinson

      That will be next.

      You cannot appease a power whose strength is increasing over time.

      • JallopyMacfurry

        Especially when they’re not grounded in Judeo/Christian values. eg. *all* people are created equal with inalienable rights, etc.

    • Deanology

      The only surprise to me is that it hasn’t happened already.

  • alienation

    Time to blockade China’s oil supplies

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      Pearl Harbor II?

    • Casper Steuperaert

      You know how Japan came to attack the USA in WWII? Because the US blocked oil shipments to Japan. Learn from your mistakes people!

  • Yazeed odyan

    The Chinese decision for air defense over china sea is strategically wrong, I think the new situation in south east Asia is a big test for US-japan defense treaty.
    If united states fail in the test as i expect, Japan will become military power again. whatever US agree with this or not, and china fear this. it may be end for US domination as it ends in middle east.

  • franz182

    ………like the chinese are not entitled to lay out a defense
    of what is theirs historically. No, they are not the weak and
    exploited China of the 19th and 20th century. Yes, the
    americans and everyone else had better reassess the
    sense of entitlement America and Japan have in asia. There are no more ” cantons ” nor economic exploitation of
    the chinese people. Unlike Japan and the United States the
    chinese have never had an expansionist foreign policy replete with invasion and violent expropriation. Japan and
    he US have such a history and China has every right to
    guard against a repeat of an earlier age of violence directed against it’s people. We americans had better start
    taking care of the people of Detroit and the tens of millions
    of unemployed and homeless all over our nation.

    • blagostwin

      Don’t bash the US we saved you just 70 short years ago, from eternal control by Japan. In so far of the islands 200 years ago does not make it so today. Japan apparently purchased those islands as we did Alaska. So I’m not sure as to what Chinas actual claim is. I’m sure they’ll claim Taiwan before it’s over.

  • gannamede

    Here comes another “hot spot”, China is fast becoming the new “big kid on the block.” But at the same time no one should underestimate the warrior nature of the Japanese either. And it’s only a matter of time before America is ordered out of Taiwan, and someone is going to have to make the decision of whether to leave or face off against what’s soon to be the largest military machine in world history. They will of course work out some kind of face saving deal so it won’t be quite so embarrassing, but it’s definitely coming. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out the Chinese have already hinted their intentions to Washington.

  • Far East

    “Japan purchased them from Taiwan”
    That’s not true. They were terra nullius, ie they belonged to nobody.

  • WBC

    How does one change a regime in a nation of one billion people? Japan’s interests would be better served by promoting a regime change in the United States.

  • DJD

    Better start building an army ,navy and air force Japan. the U.S. is tapped out and China knows it.
    If I were you I’d build a few atom bombs too.

  • Glen Douglas Brügge

    I live in Alaska; I will go “Red Dawn” on them!

  • WellArmedLamb

    There next step will be to take Taiwan back

  • WellArmedLamb

    The United States is obligated to defend Japan in case of attack….the Senkakus are currently administrated by the Japanese which means the US will help defend these islands from China if they decide to occupy them..

  • Guest

    President Obama’s primary objective is to destroy Republicans at home, not to resist aggression overseas. The Chinese have taken the measure of the man.

  • Slartibartfast

    Dear friends in Japan – do NOT ..repeat.. do NOT depend on the United
    States to help you against the Chinese as long as we have the current
    President in Office. In his ignorance, he has become a soviet socialist
    and moves ever closer to the Chinese, who would like nothing more than
    to OWN the islands of Nippon. Once we have a different President – if
    if he or she is a Democrat – you can trust us, again. But for now,
    guard your loyalty as a soldier guards the gates.

  • jeffreyafriedberg

    Is anyone really surprised?

    Who is China supposed to be scared of? There is nobody with any guts except Putin and he’s a freaking ally of China.

    Certainly nothing to fear from Kerry or

  • David

    Not to worry. obama will send kerry to negotiate which will result in Japan being forced to cede the islands to China . . .

  • JallopyMacfurry

    America still has strong, core values. Rooted in valuing individual freedom over our decent instinct to use the centralized State for egalitarianism. You can’t have equality of outcome and value freedom. One has to go. America is the only country which has laid its foundation with this idea, rather than geography or ethnicity, etc. Any person, from any country or identity, can *become* or be truly adopted as, an American.
    A Turk living in Germany for Generations will still be considered, and consider themselves, a Turk more than German. (Or Spanish, or French, or maybe any country. Maybe not Australia and the UK??) In the US, they can become and feel truly American within weeks. This seems, still, unique to America and to history.

    I think, ultimately, this is possible because of Judeo/Christian values; the core of which is that *all* people are *created* equal with inalienable rights, etc. In other words, outside of any other person or States opinion, you have inherent value, and so rights superseding any person’s opinion.
    Where, therefore, no centralized State (bureaucratic elites) can rightly presume to know better than an individual, past a point; and so must hold back from making laws and restrictions on that citizen as much as possible, no matter how much they feel they know better.

    I believe this is basically why the Left, or the ideology of leftism, hates Christianity so much.

  • PTM123

    This is the natural result of a political vacuum created by the decline of American influence in the world. The chance of war increases in Asia and the Middle East. We all know who is responsible.

  • lpc1998

    From the military point of view, the creation of the East China Sea ADIZ by China is a necessary response to Japan’s earlier threats to shot down Chinese drones.

  • sidweiss

    its funny that they tweet their plans

  • Russ Miller

    The US should fly a joint air mission with F22 Raptors and Japanese jets, right through this “declared air space” and state that they will not cede to any unlawful rules for entering that airspace.

    These people understand nothing be brute force.


    Should sell them to the Japanese, yes. Charity needs to be a thing of the past across the board. You can’t have charity if you don’t have the money to give…And just because you have available balance in your credit card doesn’t mean you have money to give.


    That’s not an issue. Wouldn’t be the first countries in the world who went to war over debt…if they attack and start a war, we can simply not repay the money owed them.

    • Jay S

      Not repaying the money would cause the bond market to collapse, along with the dollar.


    Bet politicians are starting to wonder why we removed embargoes on Chinese-produced goods and created this mess. Becoming dependent on a potential enemy for the vast amount of consumer and military supply chains is never optimal.

  • MichaelGuy

    The Chinese are led by wise, patriotic, nationalist and will have an empire that will rival Kublai Kahn’s. The Cinese leaders do not surrender national sovereignty to neo-feudal , non-elected UN bureaucrats and foreign plutocrtas like the decadent Western nations do. The Leaders of China ( and Russia) do ot betray their citizens by foisting a national debt upon their citizens, making each citizen and indebted serf to feuadal foreign plutocratic lenders-like the owners of the Federal Reserve Bank. Chinese ( and Russian) leaders promote the prosperity of their own citizens and do not betray their industries with global environmental restrictions that curtaill industry, employments and prosperity. America is too indebted to the Sunni oil sheiks, the Zionist plutocrats and the wealthy Chinese politburo members. China, Riyadh, Qatar and others have financed the socialist Potemkin Village enedemic to the decadent West, where parasites feed off the productive and politicians borrow to maintain this Bolshevik pretense of a welfare state. Because of its debts, America will betray its Asian allies the way Pontius Pilate betrayed Jesus or Neville Chamberlain betrayed Europe. Even the Trojan Horse leaders in America are betraying their citizens , like Benedict Arnold, trying to make America a subservient fief in a global unHoly Roman Empire.
    God have mercy upon the wonderful people of Japan and Asia, who trusted in “a broken reed”. I pray another “divine wind” delivers you from subjugation and tyranny.

    • versionthirteen

      Your vaunted Chinese only exist due to the “walmart shopper” – who in turn depends on their little Government issued EBT cards – not on destiny. The decadent West is your feet of clay — as well as your knees and God forbid the rest of you. Kubla Khan is a schoolboy fantasy – while the West you deride has at least 400 years more to its Empire, the Chinese can crow but all they did in all of the 20th century was kill their own people and eat rice.

  • Tim

    has every right to set own ADIZ as Jap extended its ADIZ westward, only 130 km
    from the coast of mainland China at its closest point in May 2013.

  • Hawaii Doc

    You better bypass Hawaii! Aloha does not extend to more frabricated Chinese “history” of owning whatever they covet next! Got something China wants? “We’ve always owned that!” they say.

    • larrybudwiser

      We could give them Detroit, after all, they’re not Democrats, what could go wrong?

  • Philip Sieve

    Ganbatte, Nihonjin no tomodachi!

  • Hawaii Doc

    “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – J. Paul Getty

  • Chuck Tuthill

    And the nation yawns. More football, more beer, more everything. A great nation no more.