Japan’s foreign minister says Blinken gave U.S. commitment to defend Japan
Japan’s new foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, pictured, said that United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured him in a in mid-November 2021 phone call that the U.S. commitment to defending Japan, including southern islets claimed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), was unwavering.
Japan’s ties with the PRC have been plagued by a territorial dispute over a group of Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
“Secretary Blinken stated that U.S. commitment to defending Japan, including the application of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty for the Senkaku Islands, was unwavering,” Hayashi told reporters.
Under Article 5, each nation recognizes that an armed attack on territories under Japan’s administration would be dangerous to its peace and safety, and that it would act to meet the common danger.
Hayashi said he and Blinken shared the view that the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait was important.
Cross-strait tensions have been rising in recent months, with Taiwan complaining for more than a year of repeated missions by Chinese fighter jets near the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.
Hayashi and Blinken strongly opposed the PRC’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas and agreed on close cooperation between the two allies in responding to issues regarding China, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
IMAGE CREDIT: REUTERS