US Security Obligation to Japan Includes Disputed Senkaku Islands – Obama

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Washington’s obligation to defend Japan applies to the territory of the disputed Senkaku islands, which are also claimed by China, US President Obama said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Thursday.

TOKYO, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Washington’s obligation to defend Japan applies to the territory of the disputed Senkaku islands, which are also claimed by China, US President Obama said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Thursday.

“Our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute and article five covers all territories under Japanese administration, including the Senkaku islands,” Obama was quoted as saying by NHK channel.

Obama underlined that Japan and China should seek peaceful settlement of all contentious issues and work on building mutual trust, adding that the status-quo in disputed matters should not be changed unilaterally.

The US has repeatedly said the islands are included in the US-Japanese security treaty. In November, China unilaterally imposed an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea, including over the disputed islands. China demands that aircraft flying over the area must report their route and radio frequencies. The US has condemned the move.

Japan has been Washington’s closest ally in the Pacific since the end of World War II. In recent years, the US has shifted the focus of its strategic planning toward Asia under a new state policy of military deterrence aimed at China.

President Obama arrived in Japan on Wednesday as part of his Asia tour, which will also take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. The US leader will leave Tokyo on April 25.

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