Japanese airlines said on Wednesday they will not follow rules set by China anymore regarding the country’s self-declared right to manage the skies over the East China Sea, respectively over the Senkakus.
The change of decision came after pressure from the Japanese government together with other international governments lining up alongside Tokyo.
Japan’s two major airlines had previously said they had been submitting flight plans to Chinese authorities for any plane that was due to pass through the area.
Japan together with is allies condemned China’s decision on Tuesday, while the United States flew two US B-52 bombers over the disputed islands in a show of force, according to the international press.
“After the Japanese government said private airlines do not have to follow Beijing’s claims on Tuesday, our industry body held a meeting on Tuesday and decided we will not follow” Beijing’s demands any more, a spokesman for former flag carrier Japan Airlines said.
“JAL has stopped submitting flight plans since 0000 am Wednesday (1500 GMT Tuesday),” he added.
JAL’s rival All Nippon Airways also said it has stopped complying.
“The Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan, an aviation industry body, made the decision after it received assurances from China, through the Japanese foreign ministry, that Beijing has no intention of obstructing the flights of commercial airline carriers,” the JAL spokesman said.