China Violates International Law With Air Zone: Yamamoto

China’s air-defense zone in the East China Sea is a violation of international law and “very dangerous,” Japan’s Minister for Ocean Policy and Territorial Issues said.

“We are asking the Chinese government to stop but they have given no answer so far,” Ichita Yamamoto said in an interview in Davos yesterday. “We are very much concerned, and regarding this issue we share the same view with the U.S.”

Sino-Japanese relations soured after the Japanese government decided in 2012 to purchase a group of disputed islands from their private owner, triggering protests across China. In November, China set up the air-defense zone covering the islands and sent fighter planes there. Last month, a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser had a confrontation with a Chinese military ship in the South China Sea, underscoring the rising tensions in the region.

“Japan and China are interdependent for many reasons and I really hope our prime minister can have a talk with the leader of China,” said Yamamoto. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s premier, has “always said the door is open and he hopes that somehow China and Japan can go back to the mutually beneficial relationship,” said Yamamoto.

Abe is in Davos to give a keynote speech and answer questions on Japan’s economic and diplomatic policies. His schedule does not include any plans to meet with Chinese officials.

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