The uninhabited islets in the East China Sea at the center of a bitter dispute between China and Japan are “clearly” covered by a 1960 security treaty obliging the United States to come to Japans aid if attacked, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.
“We do not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of these islands,” Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee.
Japan has controlled the rocky islets since 1895 – except during the 1945-1972 U.S. post-war occupation of Okinawa – and calls them the Senkakus. China, and rival Taiwan, maintain they have an older claim and call them the Diaoyu islands.
“We do acknowledge clearly … that Japan maintains effective administrative control … and, as such, this falls clearly under Article 5 of the Security Treaty,” Campbell said at the panels hearing on Asian territorial disputes.
Read the rest of the story: Treaty with Japan covers islets in China spat – US official.