News / Asia

Japan Slams China's 'Profoundly Dangerous' Air Defense Zone

FILE - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
FILE - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
VOA News

Japan used an annual defense paper on Tuesday to issue a fresh warning about what it sees as China's destabilizing actions in the region.

The so-called white paper expressed particular concern about China's "profoundly dangerous" declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in a part of the East China Sea that includes islands also claimed by Japan.

The paper, which was adopted Tuesday by the Cabinet, said the identification zone is an attempt by China to "unilaterally change the status quo, escalate the situation, and may cause unintended consequences."

In what many see as a response to China's actions, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to expand the regional role of his country's military.

Temple University Asian Studies professor Jeffrey Kingston says he sees the white paper as focused on a domestic audience.

"The big problem for Prime Minister Abe is that the public is totally opposed to him ramping up Japan's security posture," he said. "His decision at the beginning of July to reinterpret Article 9 of the constitution to make it possible to for Japan to engage in what they call "collective self-defense," is opposed vigorously by most Japanese."

Several of China's neighbors have accused Beijing of using similar aggressive tactics to forcibly advance its disputed maritime claims in the nearby South China Sea.

Those disputes are expected to be a major topic of discussion at an upcoming summit of ASEAN foreign ministers in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Speaking to reporters in Washington Monday, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel said Secretary of State John Kerry will urge China and its neighbors to agree to voluntarily refrain from destabilizing actions in the South China Sea.

"It can range from very modest steps, steps that have already been agreed to by all the claimants, such as an agreement not to seize currently unoccupied land features. Or it could include more significant steps, such as a moratorium on the reclamation work that several claimants have under way to add land to the features that they are currently occupying," said Russel.

China has repeatedly taken assertive steps to enforce its claims to nearly the entire South China Sea, rattling rival claimants, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

China has already rejected such a proposal, saying it is within its rights to carry out such activities in what it views as its territory.

Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, said Kerry will also push China to make progress with ASEAN on a long-delayed Code of Conduct to help regulate activities and lessen tensions in the South China Sea.  

China is reluctant to discuss its territorial disputes at bilateral forums such as ASEAN. It instead prefers to deal with each claimant individually, a position that gives it considerably more clout.

Beijing recently withdrew an oil rig from an area also claimed by Vietnam, bringing an end to months of heightened tensions and small-scale sea clashes.

Russel said China's withdrawal of the rig removed a serious irritant, but strained China-Vietnam ties, left a legacy of anger, and raised "serious questions" about China's long-term strategy.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid