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Diaoyutais 'within scope' of US-Japan alliance: Obama

TOKYO -- The islands at the center of a corrosive row between Tokyo and Beijing are covered by the U.S.-Japan defense alliance, Barack Obama told a newspaper ahead of his arrival in Tokyo Wednesday.

Obama, whose tour of Asia will also take in South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia, is the first sitting U.S. president to explicitly affirm that hostile action against the island chain would spark an American reaction.

“The policy of the United States is clear — the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security,” Obama said in a written interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun.

“And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan's administration of these islands,” he said.

Several senior U.S. figures, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have made similar statements, which Tokyo covets as a way to warn China away from territories it claims as the Diaoyus.

Obama's weeklong tour of Asia is being dubbed by the White House a “rebalancing” eastward of U.S. foreign policy.

Although China is not on his itinerary, its presence will be felt on every leg at a time of complex regional disputes and questions about U.S. strategy.

“We firmly oppose applying the Japan-U.S. security treaty in the issue of the Diaoyu islands,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing in response.

In November, China declared an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, including the skies above the islands.

“I've also told (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) that all our nations have an interest in dealing constructively with maritime issues, including in the East China Sea,” Obama told the Yomiuri.

“Disputes need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, not intimidation and coercion,” he said.

April 24, 2014    bibotkngo57@
So that's the final word from our ally the US., Daioyutai belongs to Japan.
We just have to swallow it and walk away.
April 24, 2014    legerweck@
The U.S. is opposed to the seizure of any islands or seas through intimidation or force. This includes shoals, islets and reefs 100 km off the shores of littoral states such as the Philippines (1000 km south of Hainan island), or Taiwan itself. We all know who is doing this. If China believes these uninhabited islets belong to them, they should take their claim to a neutral International court. Virtually every country on earth would be at war with another if they went to war over what was or they claim was theirs 120 years ago. China's claim of ownership of these uninhabited islets 120 years ago, in any case, is not particularly strong.
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before having dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 23. The restaurant's famed 88-year-old chef doesn't take orders, and a course menu at the deluxe diner starts at US$300 per person. (AP)

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