Taipei talks to Tokyo over flight interdiction

Taipei talks to Tokyo over flight interdiction

TAIPEI - Taiwan has expressed concern to Japan over the latter's occasional harassment of Taiwanese civilian aircraft during their travel into overlapping airspace in the East China Sea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday that MOFA has repeatedly engaged in "serious consultations" with Japanese authorities whenever the ministry received complaints from Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA, 民航局) over such harassment.

According to her understanding, no such incident has occurred over the past year, ever since Taipei expressed its concerns to Tokyo.

Kao's comments came one day after CAA Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) raised the issue during a legislative session Monday.

Fielding questions during a legislative session, Shen told lawmakers that Taiwan's Flight Information Region (FIR) and Japan's Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) narrowly overlap (between 123 and 124 degrees east longitude) in the East China Sea.

Taiwan's civilian flights are occasionally "intercepted" by Japanese military aircraft within the two nations' overlapping airspace in the East China Sea, Shen said.

According to Shen, since 2009, Japanese aviation authorities have demanded that Taiwanese airliners submit their flight plans to Japan when traveling through the overlapping air zone.

However, despite having already identified themselves to Japanese authorities, some of these passengers planes are still "intercepted" by Japanese fighters in the overlapping zone, the CAA head said.

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