...leaving Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hung to dry. Nice job, Mr. Obama.
After kindly informing China the other day that its two B52 bombers that flew inside the Air Defense Identification Zone over Senkaku Islands were unarmed, the United States government now says it is requesting the US commercial airlines to adhere to China's new rules and submit flight plans to China, to be safe.
The State Department Office of the Spokesperson (from 11/27/2013 daily press briefing, released on 11/29/2013; emphasis is mine):
China's Declared ADIZ - Guidance for U.S. Air Carriers
Question: Is there any specific guidance or information we are giving to U.S. carriers operating in China's recently declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)?
Answer: Freedom of overflight and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace are essential to prosperity, stability, and security in the Pacific. We remain deeply concerned by China's November 23 declaration of an "East China Sea Air Identification Zone."
The U.S. government generally expects that U.S. carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) issued by foreign countries. Our expectation of operations by U.S. carriers consistent with NOTAMs does not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China's requirements for operating in the newly declared ADIZ.
Well, even NHK News is taking this as "acceptance".
From NHK News (11/30/2013):
[NHK quoting the State Department answer (second paragraph of the answer above), then says that] the US State Department has made it clear that it is the intention of the US government to effectively request the US airlines to file flight plans with the Chinese authority.
NHK also quotes part of the New York Times article on the matter, with the officials in the Obama administration putting safety first.
According to The New York Times article (11/29/2013):
While the United States continued to defy China by sending military planes into the zone unannounced, administration officials said they had made the decision to urge civilian planes to adhere to Beijing’s new rules in part because they worried about an unintended confrontation.
... It was not immediately clear if the Obama administration had notified Japan, a close ally, of its decision.
Well they hadn't. At all.
The clearly irate Ministry of Foreign Affairs official says they haven't heard anything like that from the US counterpart, as reported by Mainichi Shinbun (11/30/2013):
ADIZ: Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the new US policy "We haven't been informed"
A top official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke with Mainichi Shinbun in the morning of November 30 on the US government policy, and said "We haven't been informed at all. It is a completely different response from what the US has been doing."
The Japanese government's stance on the Chinese ADIZ is that it does not have any enforceability, the Japanese government will continue to follow the existing rules and that there is no need to submit flight plans to China. The Japanese airlines have been informed of the government stance by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The Japanese government will ask the US for the details of the new policy.
It was only several days ago the Secretary of State John Kerry and the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a strong statement condemning China.
But it was also only several days ago that National Security Advisor Susan Rise made a strange speech at Georgetown University which was interpreted in Japan as a sign that the US will form a partnership with China as the two biggest powers in the world, leaving Japan hanging in the air.
Ms. Rice, of lying-through-her-teeth-on-Benghazi fame, indeed said, "When it comes to China, we seek to operationalize a new model of major power relations."
She mentioned China 20 times, Korea 11 times, Japan 7 times. No mention of Senkaku Islands.
(Operationalize? What kind of ugly verb is that? DCSpeak?)