In the midst of President Barack Obama’s Asia tour, he has confirmed that America’s mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan.
“The policy of the United States is clear,” he said in a written response to questions published in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper before his arrival in Tokyo at the start of a four-country Asia tour.
“The Senkaku islands are administered by Japan” and therefore fall under the U.S.-Japan treaty, he wrote. “And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.” CCTV’s White House correspondent Jessica Stone reports.
Obama: U.S.-Japan Treaty Applies to Disputed IslandsPresident Barack Obama confirmed Wednesday that America's mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan.
The following is a transcript of a written interview with President Obama conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun. The White House provided the newspaper with Obama’s answers on Monday, in advance of the president’s trip to Asia.
QUESTION: Asian allies of the United States very much appreciate the “Asia rebalance strategy” of the Obama administration. Could you please describe the core objectives of the policy in your own words? What do you think China is aiming at when they advocate a “new type of major power relations?” China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. Would you officially declare that the Islands are covered by Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security treaty? What do you expect China and Japan to do to in order to lessen the tensions in the area?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: America is and always will be a Pacific nation, and at my direction the United States is once again playing a leading role in the region, in close partnership with allies like Japan. We seek security, where international law and norms are upheld and disputes are resolved peacefully. We seek prosperity, where trade and investment leads to broad-based economic growth and nations play by the same rules. We seek respect for fundamental freedoms and universal human rights, because we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being.
Our strategy is a long-term commitment to this region and its people, and I’m proud of our progress so far. Our alliances, including with Japan, are stronger than ever and we’re modernizing our defense posture across the region. Our trade is growing and we’re working to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We’re deepening our ties with emerging powers like China, India and Indonesia. We’re more closely engaged with regional institutions like ASEAN and the East Asia Summit. We’re standing with citizens, including the people of Burma, as they work toward a democratic future.
With regard to China, the new model of relations we seek between our two countries is based on my belief that we can work together on issues of mutual interest, both regionally and globally, and that both our nations have to resist the danger of slipping into conflict, which is not inevitable. For example, both the United States and China have an interest in the global economic recovery, the denuclearization of North Korea and addressing climate change. In other words, we welcome the continuing rise of a China that is stable, prosperous and peaceful and plays a responsible role in global affairs. And our engagement with China does not and will not come at the expense of Japan or any other ally.
At the same time, the United States is going to deal directly and candidly with China on issues where we have differences, such as human rights. I’ve also told President Xi that all our nations have an interest in dealing constructively with maritime issues, including in the East China Sea. Disputes need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, not intimidation and coercion. The policy of the United States is clear—the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.”
Q: Today’s Yomiuri Shimbun published their interview with U.S.President Barack Obama. Obama said in the interview that the Diaoyu Islands are under Japan’s administration and fall within the scope of US-Japan security treaty, adding that the US supports Japan in playing a bigger role in the field of security in the Asia Pacific. What is China’s comment?
A: China’s position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is clear and consistent. The Diaoyu Islands are an integral part of China over which China has indisputable sovereignty. The so-called control of the islands by the Japanese side is illegal and invalid. Their provocative actions are undeniable and unjustifiable. Our determination and resolve to safeguard territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is unshakable.
It should be noted that the US-Japan alliance, as a bilateral arrangement forged during the Cold War era, should never infringe upon China’s territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests. China firmly opposes the inclusion of the Diaoyu Islands into the US-Japan security treaty. The US should respect facts, act responsibly, stick to its commitment of taking no sides in relevant territorial disputes, think twice before saying or doing anything and truly play a constructive role in ensuring regional peace and stability.
For historical reasons, countries in the region as well as the international community are mindful about Japan’s policies in military and security areas. Considering the recent incidents, by incidents I mean the provocative words and actions of the Japanese authority on issues of history, territorial sovereignty and others, Japan’s moves in the military and security areas are also closely watched by us. We hope that relevant parties can show their respect for facts, tell right from wrong, and make positive efforts in safeguarding regional peace, security and stability. As for the Japanese side, we hope they can follow the trend of the times, featuring win-win cooperation, and show us with their concrete actions that they are still on the path of peaceful development.
Joining CCTV America with more on the U.S. President’s remarks, and the response from Beijing, is Jia Xiudong, Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.
China's Response to Obama's Remarks on Diaoyu IslandsJoining CCTV America with more on the U.S. President's remarks, and the response from Beijing is Jia Xiudong, a Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will officially welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to Tokyo for a state visit Thursday. Obama arrived Wednesday night and dined with Abe at a famous Sushi restaurant.
On Thursday, Obama will visit the Akasaka Palace, the Mieji Shrine, and the Imperial Palace. Obama and Abe will also hold a bilateral meeting and a press conference. At the heart of this visit — an American effort to reassure its ally Japan and a discussion on how to resolve regional territorial disputes in the East China Sea.Obama has already drawn a very clear distinction on where the U.S. stands in an interview given to Japan’s largest media group. Prime Minister Abe said he and Obama had a long talk at the dinner and looked forward to a fruitful meeting Thursday “so that we can jointly send a message to the rest of the world that the Japan-U.S. alliance is unshakable and strong.”
Obama arrives in Manila on Monday for an overnight stop after visiting Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. There are anti-U.S. demonstrations in the city ahead of his visit. Police armed with truncheons, shields and a fire hose clashed Wednesday with more than 100 left-wing activists who rallied at the U.S. Embassy, opposing a security pact that would increase the American military presence in the region. CCTV correspondent Barnaby Lo reports from Manila.
Protests in Manila Ahead of Obama's VisitObama arrives in Manila on Monday for an overnight stop after visiting Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.CCTV correspondent Barnaby Lo reports from Manila, the last stop of President Obama's Asia tour.
Obama’s Asia tour is part of the White House’s Asia pivot strategy. The plans call for expanding the U.S. presence in the region, with the country’s Commerce Department opening a new office in China and one in Myanmar. To discuss this, CCTV’s Phillip Yin is joined by Anil Gupta, Professor of Strategy, Globalization and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.
Anil Gupta on Economic Agenda of Obama Asia TourObama's tour is part of the White House's Asia pivot strategy. The plans call for expanding the U.S. presence, with the country's Commerce Department opening a new office in China and one in Myanmar. To discuss these issues, CCTV's Phillip Yin is joined by Anil Gupta, Professor of Strategy, Globalization and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business.
This report compiled with information from the Associated Press and The Washington Post.