Home > News > Regional
Friday April 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 25, 2014 MYT 10:29:54 AM
TOKYO: US President Barack Obama vowed to defend Japan if China attacks over a tense territorial dispute, but also urged Beijing to help stop North Korea from forging ahead with its “dangerous” nuclear programme.
Obama described as “critically important” China’s role in keeping its wayward ally in check after South Korea said heightened activity at the North’s main nuclear test site could point to an imminent test – its fourth.
“China’s participation in pushing the DPRK (North Korea) in a different direction is critically important,” the president told a joint press briefing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“It is the most destabilising, dangerous situation in all of the Asia-Pacific region.”
Despite his call for China’s help, Obama also underlined US support for Japan, saying that islands at the centre of its bitter territorial dispute with Beijing are covered by a defence treaty that would oblige Washington to act if they were attacked.
“Article five (of the US-Japan security treaty) covers all territories under Japan’s administration including (the) Senkaku islands,” he said, referring to the East China Sea archipelago which Beijing calls the Diaoyus.
“We do not believe that they should be subject to change unilaterally, and what is a consistent part of the alliance is that the treaty covers all territories administered by Japan.”
Obama added that “this is not a new position” and “there’s no red line that’s been drawn”.
“We stand together in calling for disputes in the region, including maritime issues, to be resolved peacefully through dialogue,” he said.
Relations between Tokyo and Beijing are at their lowest point for years. Some observers warn they might come to blows over the islands, where ships from both sides lurk to press claims for ownership.
Abe’s position on historical issues also annoys the Chinese, who accuse him of playing down Japanese atrocities.
They are particularly upset by visits he and his cabinet ministers have paid to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours war criminals among other fallen warriors. — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Trailer watch: Dinosaurs wreak havoc in ‘Jurassic World’
Boost for Sarawak conservation
Man dies in fire after quake hits Taiwan
Japan plans moon mission
National Juniors hockey team chasing World Cup berth
Serbia quashes talk of landmark visit by Kosovo minister
New York Times wins Pulitzers for West Africa Ebola coverage
Air strike on missile base in Yemen capital kills 25, wounds hundreds
Obama, Abu Dhabi crown prince discuss need for military equipment
Auschwitz bookkeeper set to stand trial in Germany
U.S. challenges Greece over move that softens guerrilla's jail terms
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Book 1
Twitter expands privacy on direct messages
Junior tennis player Imran on the rise
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)