US, Japan To Respond to Chinese Belligerence at Senkaku Islands

Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu) has been a bone of contention between Japan and China. Japan and the US are developing a plan to jointly respond to any possible threats in case of a provocative action from China in the disputed Senkaku  (Diaoyu) Islands in the East China Sea. This was reported on Sunday by Kyodo, citing government sources.

It is noted that the parties are holding consultations on this issue, and the final document is planned to be drafted in March next year. It, in particular, will spell out the actions of the self-defence forces of Japan and the US military in situations with which the Japanese coast guards are not able to manage Chinese belligerence. 

Earlier, Tokyo and Washington confirmed that Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Guarantees (signed on January 19, 1960) extends to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and that the US opposes any unilateral steps to change the status quo there. 

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing became aggravated against the background of the territorial dispute around the Senkaku Islands, which broke out in September 2012 after Japanese authorities bought these lands from private owners. 

Since then, the Chinese ships constantly ply near the disputed islands and periodically make demonstrative visits to the coastal zone. Despite some warming of ties after the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Beijing in late October, Tokyo remains wary of the military policy of its neighbour in the East China Sea.

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