Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will express their concern in a joint statement that any abuse of power in international civil aviation could pose a security "threat," a Japan-ASEAN diplomatic source said Thursday, in an implicit reference to China's new air defense zone.

At a time tensions remain high after China set up last month the controversial air defense identification zone, a draft of the statement shows Japan and ASEAN are mulling underscoring the importance of "freedom of overflight" over the high seas, the source said.

The statement, designed to reaffirm the common positions of Japan and ASEAN in regional and global challenges, including maritime security, will be issued at a special Japan-ASEAN summit in Tokyo next week.