ANA, JAL begin to submit flight plans for China defense zone

JIJI

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have begun to submit flight plans to China for their aircraft to pass the country’s newly set air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, informed sources said Monday.

Although the Japanese government does not recognize the Chinese zone, which was set up Saturday, the two airlines have decided to follow China’s demand that aircraft entering the zone submit flight plans in advance.

The airlines explained that their airplanes could be warned by Chinese military jets if they do not follow the request.

Affected flights include those to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok.

China said Saturday that it will take “defensive emergency measures” against aircraft that do not follow its instructions in the zone, which covers airspace over the Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China.

China is informing other countries of the request, noting that it is based on International Civil Aviation Organization rules, according to the Japanese transport ministry.