Is Japan Testing China’s ADIZ, or Not?

China declared its “Air Defense Identification Zone” on November 23rd and four days later the “Japanese government on Tuesday told its domestic airlines to stop providing flight information to China, which has mandated that planes give details when flying through the new ADIZ it unilaterally declared.” In other words, Japan declined to recognize the ADIZ.

Who knows what’s being said for political consumption and what’s actual policy? So I’ve been interested to see how this plays out every day in practice, and the other day we had occasion to flirt with the line on a Japan Airlines flight between Tokyo Narita and Saigon Tan Son Nhat airports. It’s not completely easy to tell, but it looks like we skirted well outside the Chinese line when you compare the top map from the Japan Defense Ministry, and a photo of the flight map from the plane.

adiz NRT-SGNRoute

Which is interesting when you note that the Great Circle Mapper, which shows the shortest path between two points, indicates we should have plowed right through the ADIZ, straight over Taiwan.


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