Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–November 27, 2013. Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog provided the following readout:
“This morning, Secretary Hagel called Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to discuss the security situation in the East China Sea.
Secretary Hagel conveyed that the announcement by the People’s Republic of China establishing the “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone” is a potentially destabilizing unilateral action designed to change the status quo in the region, and raises the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.
“Secretary Hagel commended the Japanese government for exercising appropriate restraint in the wake of this announcement. Secretary Hagel assured Minister Onodera that U.S. military operations will not in any way change as a result of China’s announcement, noting that recent routine and long-planned U.S. flight operations have already occurred as normal following the announcement.
“Secretary Hagel reaffirmed longstanding U.S. policy that Article V of the Japan-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands, and pledged to consult closely with Japan on efforts to avoid unintended incidents.
“Secretary Hagel also discussed with Minister Onodera continued progress on steps to realign U.S. Forces in Japan and mitigate impacts on the people of Okinawa. Secretary Hagel conveyed to Minister Onodera that resolving remaining issues is a top priority of the Pentagon as part of our rebalance to Asia Pacific and goal of achieving a force posture that is more geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable.”