Japan, US to urge China to drop ADIZ

The Japanese and US governments will urge China to withdraw its newly declared air defence identification zone in a joint statement to be compiled during a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Vice President Joe Biden this week in Tokyo, it has been learned.

According to sources, the joint statement will stipulate that the two governments will not allow China to change the status quo in the East China Sea by force.

The joint statement will also express the two countries' determination to steadily work on reducing the burden on people in Okinawa Prefecture, which hosts most of the US military bases in Japan, and to seek local residents' understanding for the relocation of the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the Henoko district, both in the prefecture.

It will be the first time for the Japanese and US governments to compile a joint statement to criticise China's ADIZ over the East China Sea, which includes the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The two governments aim to put strong pressure on Beijing by clearly showing close cooperation between Japan and the United States and a resolute attitude on the matter in a written statement, observers said.

Biden will visit Japan from Monday through Wednesday before going to China and South Korea. The statement will be jointly announced after the Abe-Biden meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The Japanese and US governments are currently making arrangements to incorporate into the joint statement language that strongly criticizes China over its ADIZ. It will likely state that China's ADIZ could lead to an unforeseen situation and is a very dangerous attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea unilaterally.

To reduce the burden of hosting US military bases, the government will begin construction from next fiscal year of hangars for MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in the Self-Defence Forces' bases across the country, so as to move some training exercises for the transport aircraft, which is currently deployed in Okinawa Prefecture, to the mainland.

In addition, the government will partially lift fishery restrictions in the US military's so-called Hotel/Hotel training area located east of Okinawa Island, according to the sources. The government will also notify the Okinawa prefectural government of the US military's training plans at least two weeks in advance.

The joint statement will also refer to the United States' support of the "proactive pacifism" touted by the Abe administration and Japan's move to establish a Japanese version of the US National Security Council, the sources said.

It will state that Japan and the United States will jointly conduct warning and surveillance activities with China's maritime expansion in the East China Sea and the South China Sea in mind. The statement will also stipulate that the two countries will strengthen assistance to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in case of natural disasters, in view of a recent strong typhoon that devastated the Philippines.

Japan and the United States also will cooperate in the field of official development assistance, according to the sources.

Points of planned joint statement

Japan and the United States:

-criticise China for setting an air defence identification zone and urge China to withdraw it.

-work on reducing the burden on Okinawa Prefecture, which hosts US military bases.

-jointly conduct warning and surveillance activities.

-jointly support Asian countries hit by natural disasters.

-cooperate in the field of official development assistance.