Secretary of State John Kerry vowed on Friday that the US would defend Japan is a conflict erupted in the East China Sea.
Don’t count on it, Japan.
China said Kerry’s comments were irresponsible.
The Japan Times reported:
Secretary of State John Kerry vowed Friday that the United States would defend Japan against attack, even in conflicts involving islands claimed by China and Taiwan, as tensions continue to boil between the Asian powers.
Kerry, who said he would visit China next week, met in Washington with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and reaffirmed the 1960 treaty that commits the United States to protect its ally.
“That includes with respect to the South China Sea,” he said, before correcting himself to say the East China Sea, where China and Japan have conflicting claims.
Fears of conflict rose in November when China imposed an air defense identification zone over much of the East China Sea. Beijing says it now requires notification from planes crossing the Senkaku Islands, long administered by Tokyo.
“The United States neither recognizes nor accepts China’s declared East China Sea ADIZ and the United States has no intention of changing how we conduct operations in the region,” Kerry said.
The United States and its allies are increasingly concerned China will take similar action in the South China Sea, where the Philippines in particular has voiced worries about Beijing’s maritime claims.