Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Japan’s defense minister for the first time and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending Japanese sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, or Diaoyu Islands as they are known in China.
The Senkakus are uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are currently administered by Japan but are also claimed by China and Taiwan. After Austin spoke on the phone with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Saturday, the Pentagon released a readout of the call.
“Secretary Austin further affirmed that the Senkaku Islands are covered by Article V of the US-Japan Security Treaty, and that the United States remains opposed to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” the readout says.
Article V is the section of the US-Japan Security Treaty that outlines the mutual defense agreement between the two countries. The US will come to the defense of Japan if any territory administered by Tokyo is under attack.
President Biden made sure to reaffirm the US commitment to defending the Senkakus in a call with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga back in November, shortly after Biden won the election.
The Trump administration left Biden with an incredibly hostile relationship with Beijing, and tensions are high in the region. The US sent an aircraft carrier strike group into the South China Sea on Saturday. The Biden administration also reaffirmed military support for Taiwan after Chinese warplanes flew near the island.
6 thoughts on “New SecDef Reaffirms US Commitment to Defending Senkaku Islands”
Yes, this is a reaffirmation of a US commitment first made ten years ago.
. .SECRETARY CLINTON: “Well, first let me say clearly again that the Senkakus fall within the scope of Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. This is part of the larger commitment that the United States has made to Japan’s security. We consider the Japanese-U.S. alliance one of the most important alliance partnerships we have anywhere in the world and we are committed to our obligations to protect the Japanese people.” . . .here
It seems to me that this Japan island-grab in the East China Sea, with US support, contributed to the subsequent effective PRC actions in the South China Sea, including island militarization. Once bitten twice shy? Not for China. Once bitten and never again.
only relevant if underwater gas deposits found–then China will assert its sovereignty…in 10 years when US empire has disintegrated –no longer relevant
Just to be clear, the US would spring to the defense of the unoccupied Senkaku rocks, ‘cuz rocks need defending, but the US will NOT take any part in defending the people on Taiwan. . . .Taiwanese suck. . . .You go USA! . . .I like it that way. Makes sense, in a perverse sort of way.
Taiwan should have the best claim. But then China claims Taiwan, too.
Japan once occupied Taiwan but losing World war 2 changed that claim, permanently.
The US has acknowledged that Taiwan is a part of China.
On Japan: The WWII Cairo Declaration disallowed all Japan’s overseas islands, but then there was a change in China government. China (which suffered mightily in the war) was not invited to the San Franciso Conference, and Japan was treated like a new ally by the US, keeping its islands except the Kuriles (Russia).
The US also “acknowledges” that Juan Guaido is president of Venezuela and that the Iranians are seeking nukes. Since when is US “acknowledgement” of something an indicator of whether that thing is true?
The last time a mainland Chinese regime ruled Taiwan was in 1895. That was three full regimes before the current one. The Chinese regime’s claim to Taiwan is more dated and less justifiable than the Spanish regime’s claim to Cuba (that regime wasn’t kicked out until 1898 and has a similar number of successor regimes).
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