"The political situation in East Asia is quite tense right now. The attention used to be focused on the Southeast China Sea, but now tensions are reaching a flashpoint with the East China Sea dispute," Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said here on Thursday before departing for Tokyo to attend the summit.
He said Indonesia would convey its view on the subject in front of other leaders in the region, while urging them to maintain peace and stability to ensure continued economic growth in the region.
After Beijing announced its Air Defense Identification Zone on November 23, tensions in East Asia have escalated rapidly, especially in the waters around the disputed islands.
The Japanese government, meanwhile, has said it will not compromise its sovereignty claim over the disputed islands.
President Yudhoyono and a delegation that includes First Lady Ani Yudhoyono left Jakarta for Tokyo aboard special aircraft A330-300, which belongs to state-owned airline company PT Garuda.
The president is attending the ASEAN-Japan Summit to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations.
The ASEAN 10 members are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia.
At the summit, cooperation in various fields will be discussed, especially the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap (2012-2022), which forms the framework for achieving the goal of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
In Japan, President Yudhoyono will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the developments in bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, given that this year marks the 55th anniversary of Indonesia-Japan relations.
He is also expected to deliver a lecture on the Regional Security Architecture at the Kensei Kinen Kaikan. The lecture has been organized by the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) in cooperation with the Japan-Indonesia Parliamentary League, Japans Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian embassy in Tokyo.
Other Indonesian delegation members include Foreign minister Marty Natalegawa and Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam.
Reporting by Gnc Aryani
EDITED BY INE