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US and Japan commit to taking on ‘challenges from China’ together

US and Japan commit to taking on ‘challenges from China’ together

dpa
Washington
The leaders of the United States and Japan emphasised their commitment to countering challenges from China and ensuring a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific region after their first in-person meeting on Friday.
Concerns have been growing over China’s assertiveness in disputed waterways.
“We agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China Seas, and intimidation of others in the region,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, speaking through a translator.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, provoking friction with other nations in the region. The sea is also claimed in part by Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.
“We committed to working together to take on the challenges from China,” US President Joe Biden said.
Biden also emphasized that the US alliance with Japan and support for shared security is “ironclad.” The US, a nuclear-armed nation, is a protective power for Japan.
Thousands of US soldiers are also stationed in Japan.
In a joint statement released later, the US restated its support for Japan’s defence “using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear.” The statement also reaffirmed that Washington’s support for Japan under their mutual cooperation and security treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands, a group of Japanese-administered uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.
Chinese coastguard vessels have in recent weeks been regularly spotted near the islands, which are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are known as Diaoyu/Tiaoyutai.
“Together, we oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands,” the statement reads.

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