U.S. "Joined" to Japan on Senkakus: Blinken

Politics

Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)--The United States is "joined" to Japan on their shared concern over the security of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands against China, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

Blinken made the remarks in an online meeting with Japanese media including Jiji Press, a day after he had a "two-plus-two" meeting in Tokyo involving the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States.

China is acting "more aggressively" in the East China Sea including the Senkaku Islands and in the South China Sea, and "raising tensions" with regard to Taiwan, Blinken said.

"It's important for us to make clear together that China cannot expect to act with impunity. ... It really matters that countries don't take steps to make the possibility of conflict greater not lesser," Blinken said, reiterating that the Senkaku Islands are covered by Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty, which stipulates U.S. defense obligations to Japan.

Waters around the islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southeastern Japan, have seen repeated intrusions by Chinese coast guard ships. Beijing claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press