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Taiwan considering Japanese request to expand air defense area

Taiwan considering Japanese request to expand air defense area

The government was evaluating a request from Japan to expand its air defense identification zone at Taiwan's expense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Each foreign aircraft must file its flight plan and destination with the relevant country before entering the zone or is regarded as an illegal entrant.
The Japanese government had filed a request for a change, and MOFA had handed it over to the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of National Defense for evaluation, MOFA deputy spokesman James Chang told reporters. He insisted no decision had been reached yet.
Japan wanted to move its air defense line to the west, expanding its area to include the airspace above the open sea west of the island of Yonaguni, according to a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News.
Japan's westernmost island
Yonaguni is Japan's westernmost island and the last in the Ryukyu island chain, situated just 108 kilometers from Taiwan. It has a population of about 1,700.
The line between the Japanese and the Taiwanese air defense control space was drawn by the United States military after the end of the Second World War, Chang said. The air space east of Yonaguni and above its eastern part was controlled by Japan, the air space over the island's western half and to the west by Taiwan, he said.
Chang confirmed that the Interchange Association, the Japanese organization in charge of relations with Taiwan, had filed an official request for the change. As soon as the government reached a decision, it would announce it to the media, Chang said.
Ministry of National Defense Vice Minister Chao Shih-chang said any decision would not sacrifice Taiwan's national security or the country's rights. He confirmed Chang's statements that his ministry was considering the Japanese request.
Say no to Japan
Lawmakers said the government should turn down the Japanese plan because of Taiwan's own defense needs.
If Tokyo moved its air defense identification zone to the west, Taiwan's air defenses would meet with problems, said ruling Kuomintang legislator Chang Hsien-yao, so the government should refuse. He said Japan wanted to station troops on Yonaguni in a move against China.


Updated : 2021-08-03 21:21 GMT+08:00