Full coverage: Diaoyu Islands: China’s Inherent Territory
US President Barack Obama says that the country’s mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the Diaoyu islands, which are at the center of a territorial dispute between Japan and China.
In a statement made ahead of his visit to Japan, Obama said the US was opposed to any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands. Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reports that this is the first time a sitting US President has clearly stated the disputed islands are subject to the treaty. Obama also went on to commend Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to strengthen and expand Japan’s defense forces.
Obama’s week-long Asia tour will also take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.