Japan and China need more sophisticated communication strategies if they are to work through their territorial row, US Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday as he vowed Washington would stand by Tokyo.
Biden, in Tokyo at the start of a three-nation tour of Asia, said he will be talking “in great specificity” with Chinese leaders about Beijing’s sudden declaration last month of an air defence zone, including over islands disputed with Japan.
“We, the US, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea,” Biden told reporters in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Meanwhile, hours before the arrival of Biden in Beijing, China lashed out at Japan, alleging that Tokyo was continuously causing provocation and affecting peace and stability in the region.
In a late night statement, the defence ministry said Japan had established an Air Defence Identification Zone (AIDZ) as early as 1969 and later expanded and extended its scope to some 130 km from the Chinese coastline, covering most of the air space over the East China Sea.
“Since September 2012, Japan has been making trouble over territorial disputes, staging a farce by announcing that it would ‘purchase’ the Diaoyu Islands, frequently sending vessels and planes to disturb Chinese ships and planes in normal exercises or training, openly making provocative remarks such as shooting down Chinese drones…,” the statement said.
Rights groups write to Biden
Amnesty International and Pen American Centre have written to Biden saying: “We are writing to you on the eve of your upcoming visit to Beijing to encourage you to raise the case of former PEN President and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo with your counterparts, pressing them to release Liu Xiaobo from prison, as well as his wife, fellow poet and artist Liu Xia, from extralegal house arrest”.