Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 3 News List

No word yet about ADIZ: official

TAIPEI WAITS:Taiwan’s representative to Tokyo told a legislative committee Japan is yet to respond to a proposal on negotiations after it unilaterally moved its defense zone west

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei has yet to hear back from Tokyo over the latter’s unilateral expansion of its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) above areas west of Yonaguni Island that overlap with airspace over which Taiwan has jurisdiction, Representative to Japan John Feng (馮寄台) said yesterday.

“We are hoping to negotiate with Japan and that both sides reach a consensus. We have made the proposal, but Japan has yet to reply,” Feng told Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Yi-hsiung (江義雄) at the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.

Feng’s briefing to the legislature was organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), who also sits on the committee.

The announcement by Japan in late May that it would move its ADIZ demarcation line 2 nautical miles (3.7km) westward “surprised” Taiwan and was “unacceptable,” Feng said.

Although the change has no impact on Taiwan’s civil aviation, “[Japan] should have consulted us in advance,” Feng said.

The previous ADIZ, established by the US military following World War II, runs along 123 degrees east longitude and divides Yonaguni’s airspace into two, with the western half of the island’s airspace falling under Taiwan’s jurisdiction and the eastern half under Japan’s.

An ADIZ is an area of airspace defined by a country within which identification and location of an aircraft is required.

Aircraft entering an ADIZ are required to radio their intended course and destination to the country’s air traffic controller, usually both civilian and military.

The extension of Japan’s ADIZ came into force on June 25.

Aside from the ADIZ, a recent incident involving former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe — who on Oct. 31 was forced to take a taxi after a late-night dinner with DPP members — took center stage at the committee.

Saying he was “surprised” upon learning the news from newspapers in Tokyo, Feng said he had inquired with Hagiuda Koichi, who previously served in the Japanese House of Representatives and is now a confidential aide to Abe and who accompanied him on his two-day visit to Taiwan, about the incident.

“I intended to apologize to Abe for the incident, but Koichi told me that Abe was very satisfied with the arrangements made during his stay [in Taipei]. Koichi said he would apologize to us if the incident caused the government any trouble,” Feng said.

Feng said Koichi had confirmed that he had asked the Interchange Association, Japan, Tokyo’s de facto embassy in Taipei, to tell the driver of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-supplied van to leave after Abe returned to his hotel, adding that the driver was not told that Abe intended to go out again later that evening.

The DPP has accused the ministry of failing to provide Abe with transportation that night, which it said flouted diplomatic protocol and showed disregard for his security.

In response, Feng said he agreed with the DPP that it was “abnormal” for the former Japanese prime minister to have to take a taxi.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Ssu-tsun (沈斯淳) said the ministry would have to review its procedures for receiving foreign dignitaries to ensure their safety without compromising privacy when they undertake personal activities.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the ministry had committed a “major mistake” by failing to provide a security -detachment to protect Abe when he was in Taiwan, leaving him with only one bodyguard that night.

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