Japan sees US as deterrent in islands dispute
US: Japan said Thursday that its alliance with the United States has
served as a deterrent in a territorial dispute between Tokyo and a
rising China as it called for calm in the row.
Washington has stated that it takes no position on the disputed
islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese, but
has made clear that its security treaty with Japan covers all areas
under Tokyo's control.
The United States “has been saying that they do not take a position
on the sovereignty issue but have always stated that US-Japan security
arrangements would cover those islands,” said Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan's
ambassador to Washington.
“I think that constitutes an important deterrence,” he said at the
Brookings Institution think tank.
Tensions have soared in recent months as rival nationalist groups
sailed to stake their claims to the remote and potentially resource-rich
area. Japan has moved to nationalize the islands from a private buyer,
in what it called a bid to preempt a similar attempt by Tokyo's
firebrand local governor. Fujisaki downplayed speculation that the row
and a separate island dispute with South Korea would flare into
full-blown conflict, saying:
“That's not going to happen, that should not happen.” “This is not
started by us -- by Japan -- and we have a good historical and legal
position on these,” he said of the territorial disputes. “However, our
position is very clear -- we are not going to raise tension and try to
take it up emotionally. We would like to calmly deal with this,” he