The Japanese government expressed concern over China’s plan to set up an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea.
Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera aired Tokyo’s concern following bilateral talks with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin Saturday.
The two defense officials discussed various issues concerning security in the region such as the Chinese plan to set up more defense zones in South China Sea, which the Philippines refers to as the West Philippine Sea.
At a press briefing after the meeting, Onodera said he and Gazmin “share the view that unilateral establishment and announcement of such ADIZ would bring tension in this region.”
He said Japan and the US will continue surveillance missions and patrols in the region.
Onodera said that while China or any other country can establish their own defense zones, they should “not infringe on the freedom of flight by any aircraft.”
Japan and China are locked in a territorial dispute over a group of islets in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku to the Japanese and Diaoyu to the Chinese.
Beijing and Manila also have overlapping territorial claims on the Spratly Islands in South China Sea.