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Clinton sends warning to China over island spat
Publication Date : 20-01-2013
Reassures Japan that the Senkaku Islands are under Japanese administration
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reassured Japan that the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture are under the administration of Japan, adding that Washington opposes "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration".
Clinton's remarks, made in connection with her talks with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department in Washington on Friday, are believed to be a warning to China over the nation's provocations near the islands.
Clinton and Kishida agreed that the first Japan-US summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama will take place sometime in the week of February 17.
Clinton also referred to the issue of the Senkaku Islands at a press conference after the meeting, saying, "We acknowledge they are under the administration of Japan and we oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration."
Clinton also reiterated the US government's position that the Japan-US Security Treaty obliges the United States to defend Japan in case of island-related hostilities.
"With regard to regional security, I reiterated longstanding American policy on the Senkaku Islands and our treaty obligations," Clinton said.
Acknowledging Clinton's remarks, Kishida said, "While Japan will not concede and will uphold our fundamental position that the Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan, we intend to respond calmly so as not to provoke China."
Kishida and Clinton also agreed to reinforce the Japan-US alliance.
Kishida explained the government's plan to boost the defence budget and review Japan's outline of defence policy.
Regarding the relocation of the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan in the prefecture, Clinton expressed hopes of resolving the issue, saying, "We are confident that we can make progress on force realignment in Okinawa, including moving ahead with construction of the Futenma replacement facility."
Regarding Japan's participation in negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade framework, the two confirmed both governments will remain in close contact on the matter.
Clinton also said she would welcome Japan's participation in the TPP talks.
Prior to the talks with Clinton, Kishida met US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
In the meeting with Kirk, Kishida explained the Liberal Democratic Party's campaign pledge from the House of Representatives election, saying the party opposes participation in TPP negotiations as long as the pact is premised on the elimination of all tariffs without exception.
Regarding nuclear power, Kishida said the government will review the Democratic Party of Japan's policy to have zero nuclear reactors operating in the 2030s.