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Joe Biden Vows to Defend Senkaku Islands If Attacked by China

Joe Biden became the third American president to publicly pledge to defend the disputed Senkaku Islands on Monday, as Japan adapts to an alarming increase in Chinese government vessels in and around the islets in the East China Sea.

After Biden became the first head of state to speak with Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a readout carried by the White House called the U.S.-Japan alliance “the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.”

Kishida, 64, told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday that the U.S. president had offered “strong remarks on the U.S. commitment to defend Japan, including Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty,” the clause that has, since the Obama administration, covered the Japan-controlled island chain which China also claims under the name Diaoyu.

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