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TOKYO, April 8. /TASS/. The US government will continue condemning any unilateral actions that could threaten the administration of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Wednesday after talks with his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani.
"And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands," Carter said, confirming Washington’s stance on the territorial dispute between Japan and China over this group of uninhabited islands.
The US side has repeatedly stated that the dispute over the islands falls under the fifth article of the US-Japan security treaty of 1960. This means that any aggression towards these territories will be considered by the US as a threat to its own national security and this will allow it to act in accordance with its constitution.
The territorial dispute between Japan and China around Senkaku intensified after Tokyo announced in 2012 that it bought the islands from private owners. Mass anti-Japanese demonstrations were held in China after that. Since then, Chinese ships constantly remain in the proximity of the disputed islands and occasionally enter the coastal zone.
On Wednesday, Tokyo hosted talks between the US and Japanese defense chiefs that focused on revising guidelines of cooperation in the defense sphere between the two countries adopted in 1997.
First of all, these guidelines concern the presence of the US troops on Japan’s territory and the powers of Japan’s self-defense forces. Ahead of talks, Carter stressed that this revision would bring stability to the Asia-Pacific and other regions of the planet.