Vice President Biden spoke by phone this morning with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, expressing appreciation for the hospitality he received during his visit to Tokyo earlier this month. The Vice President reaffirmed that the United States does not recognize China’s recently announced Air Defense Identification Zone and that the announcement will in no way affect U.S. operations in the East China Sea. The Vice President also reiterated U.S. support for steps to reduce regional tensions, including new bilateral mechanisms for crisis communication. The two leaders agreed on the importance of continued close U.S.-Japan coordination on this issue. The Vice President also reinforced the importance of trilateral security cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, and noted our continued support for improved relations between Tokyo and Seoul. The Vice President and Prime Minister discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and agreed on the importance of resolving sensitive issues, including on agriculture and autos, and concluding the negotiations as soon as possible.