Japan praises US presence
Singapore (AP): Japan, which is engulfed in a bitter territorial dispute with China, told an annual security summit today that it aimed to play a...
Singapore (AP): Japan, which is engulfed in a bitter territorial dispute with China, told an annual security summit today that it aimed to play a cooperative role in regional maritime disputes. The countries have been immersed in a long-running battle over what the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands and the Chinese call Diaoyutai. China recently asserted its dominance by sending government ships into Japanese territorial waters in April. "A strong Japan will play a responsible role in the area of regional security and exercise strong leadership as expected by the international community," Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told the meeting in Singapore. Onodera praised the US military presence in the region, calling it 'indispensable' and said both countries were working to increase Japan-US cooperation. Onodera acknowledged challenges in Japan's relationship with Beijing, but said he expects China to play a responsible role as "a superpower." Onodera added that he supported efforts by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to establish a code of conduct.