China’s Establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea (Protest by Mr. Junichi Ihara, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, MOFA, to Mr. Han Zhigiang, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Japan)
1. At 4:10 pm on November 23, Mr. Junichi Ihara, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of MOFA lodged Japan’s strong protest to Mr. Han Zhigiang, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Japan concerning the establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea that the Ministry of National Defense of China had announced on the same day.
2. In the protest, Director-General Ihara conveyed the message that the ADIZ that the Chinese side had established was totally unacceptable as it included the Japanese territorial airspace over the Senkaku Islands, which is an inherent territory of Japan.
3. On that basis, Director-General Ihara noted that China’s unilateral establishment of such airspace was extremely dangerous as it could unilaterally escalate the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands and lead to an unexpected occurrence of accidents in the airspace. He also said that Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan had directed him to explicitly lodge the protest and that Japan reserved the right to lodge further protests.
4. In response, Minister Han Zhigiang stated China’s own position and replied that he would report to his home government.
5. The Japanese Government has been collecting information and taking appropriate actions. On the afternoon of November 23, a Director-General level meeting was held at the Cabinet Secretary attended by relevant ministries’ officials.