Biden promised to defend disputed islands: Kishida

New Japan PM speaks to U.S. President

October 05, 2021 10:08 pm | Updated 10:08 pm IST - Tokyo

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. File

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. File

New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that he received a “strong” message from President Joe Biden about the United States’ commitment to defending the disputed East China Sea islets, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

In phone talks on Tuesday that lasted roughly 20 minutes, the allies also confirmed their cooperation towards achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific, Mr. Kishida told reporters.

The call came a day after Mr. Kishida called a parliamentary election for October 31, and vowed to bolster the country’s response to the pandemic. He was voted in by lawmakers last week as the nation’s Prime Minister. “We confirmed that we would work together toward the strengthening of the Japan-US alliance and free and open Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Kishida said. “We also confirmed we would work closely on issues related to China and North Korea.”

“Especially, the President made a strong comment on the U.S. commitment to defend Japan, including the Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty,” Mr. Kishida added, referring to U.S. defence obligations to Japan, which cover the uninhabited island.

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