U.S. Assures Japan of Security Treaty Coverage of Senkakus


Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to new U.S. President Joe Biden, has affirmed that the Japan-U.S. security treaty's Article 5, which stipulates U.S. defense obligations to Japan, applies to Japan's Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Holding phone talks with Shigeru Kitamura, head of the secretariat for the Japanese government's National Security Council, on Thursday, Sullivan said the United States opposes any unilateral action that threatens to undermine Japan's administration of the islands.

Chinese government ships have been making intrusions into Japan's territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa. The islands are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

In the talks with Sullivan, Kitamura said Japan hopes to expand cooperation with the United States in strengthening their alliance, promoting an initiative to realize a "free and open Indo-Pacific," achieving economic security and tackling global issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first formal discussion held between senior security officials of Japan and the United States since the inauguration of the Biden administration. Kitamura and Sullivan also exchanged opinions about regional situations, including North Korean issues, and agreed on the importance of cooperation among their countries plus Australia and India.

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