01:10 GMT +317 November 2019
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    A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island (top), Minamikojima (bottom) and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen in the East China Sea (File)

    Pentagon Chief Says US Will Maintain Its Policy on Japan-China Territorial Row

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    Asia & Pacific
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    The United States is committed to its stance with regard to the territorial dispute between Japan and China, US Defense Secretary James Mattis stressed on Saturday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – The US Defense Secretary is currently visiting Japan, where he has announced that the United States will continue to honor Article 5 of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, which commits the US to protecting its partner in the event of an attack.

    "I made clear that our long-standing policy on the Senkaku Islands stands — the US will continue to recognize Japanese administration of the islands and as such Article 5 of the US-Japan Security Treaty applies," Mattis said at a Tokyo press conference, as quoted by CNN.

    On Friday, Mattis told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Washington is committed to defending Japan from common threats such as North Korea. Japan has pushed for closer US ties to counter the threat of neighboring North Korea's nuclear program.

    In 2014, Japan and China agreed to reduce tensions over the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese. Japan, however, has repeatedly accused the Chinese Navy of entering the contiguous zone around the disputed Senkaku Islands, which it considers Japanese territorial waters.


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