News / Asia

Obama Reaffirms US-Japan Defense Commitment

  • President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at Fort Bonifacio, saying a new military pact signed with the Philippines on Monday, April 27 granting a larger presence for U.S. forces would bolster the region's maritime security, Manila, April 29, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama states during a joint news conference with President Benigno Aquino III, that a 10-year agreement signed Monday, April 27, will give the U.S. military greater access to Philippine bases, helping to promote peace and stability in the region, Malacanang Palace, Manila, April 28, 2014. 

  • Police use a water cannon on "Bayan Muna" (My Country First) activists who tried to march to the U.S. embassy protesting President Barack Obama's visit, Manila April 29, 2014. 
  • The tail section of Air Force One is pictured on the tarmac at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage, Alaska, as President Barack Obama stayed onboard during a refuel stop on his return to the United States from Asia, April 29, 2014. 
  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, center, stands to speak as he attends a state dinner with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • Philippine activists pull barbed wire fence as they try to go near the Malacanang Palace during a rally to oppose the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and U.S., Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • An activist holds a protest sign near the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama is welcomed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, April 25, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japan's Empress Michiko attend a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama has reassured Japan that the U.S. will abide by its commitment to help defend the country if China seizes a disputed group of islands, but made clear that he is not setting a red line that would result in the U.S. attacking Chinese forces.
Obama came to Japan offering reassurances that the Japanese leadership has been wanting to hear. Tensions remain high over the islands in the East China Sea that Japan administers but China claims.

(File) This photo from Oct. 13, 2011, shows Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea.(File) This photo from Oct. 13, 2011, shows Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea.
(File) This photo from Oct. 13, 2011, shows Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea.
(File) This photo from Oct. 13, 2011, shows Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea.
At a briefing with Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, the U.S. leader said the United States intends to uphold a decades-old mutual defense treaty in the case of the islands - known in Japan as the Senkaku and in China as the Diaoyu.
“Obviously this isn't a red line that I'm drawing. It is the standard interpretation over multiple administrations of the terms of the alliance, which is that territories under the administration of Japan are covered under the treaty. There's no shift in position. There's no red line that's been drawn. We're simply applying the treaty,” said Obama.

China's stance

Responding to Obama's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said nothing will change "the basic reality that the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory." He said Beijing remains determined to protect its "sovereignty and maritime rights."
Obama’s visit comes at a time when confidence is shaky among many Japanese who see the United States' failure to make good on its threats to attack Syria and its reluctance to provide lethal aid to Ukraine as signs that the U.S. may not come to Japan's aid against China.

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The president is starting a weeklong tour of Asia meant to show U.S. allies that the administration's promised pivot of its diplomatic efforts and military forces to Asia remains on track. He will also visit South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 
In his conversations with Prime Minister Abe, Obama encouraged Japan to speed up negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational pact that would create one of the world's largest free trade zones. The deal is held up by a dispute over Japanese agricultural tariffs.

On Ukraine, the U.S. leader said he is getting ready to impose new sanctions on Russia for not following through on the commitments it made in Geneva last week to deescalate the crisis.
“We have been preparing for the prospect that we're going to have to engage in further sanctions. Those are teed up [ready]. It requires technical work and it also requires coordination with other countries,” said Obama.
The president heads to South Korea next. Tensions there have been heightened by indications that North Korea may be planning another nuclear test.

WATCH: Related video report by Luis Ramirez
Obama Says No Red Line for China on Japan Island Disputei
Luis Ramirez
April 24, 2014 10:27 AM
President Barack Obama has reassured Japan that a mutual defense treaty covers the islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with China, but says he has drawn no “red lines” that would result in a U.S. military attack on Chinese forces. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez is traveling with the president and has this report from Tokyo.

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Comment Sorting
by: Simonzee1 from: Australia
April 24, 2014 10:46 PM

How about a commitment for a free internet from Obama.

It appears that these Obama groupies like Clooney who is reacting to Steve Wynn are getting sensitive now that their Messiah is falling apart. Obama is full of Tall Turkey Tales.

And true to form...Hollywood and the entertainment industry lobbied hard and are about to take away a free internet. Blame Hollywood and Obama and the Democrats for taking away a free internet. A free internet disappeared under the Democrats at the hands of a Hollywood lobbyist who runs the FCC. Sorry...Obama runs the FCC as we saw that when the FCC tried to put monitors (agents) in every newsroom.

The end of a free internet will be their shameful legacy with these moves by the same FCC that failed to put monitors in every newsroom is a diagrace. Leave the internet alone.

And don't forget the leftist Silicon Valley activists who are right there with the Democrats to take away a free internet at the bidding of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. We saw Silicon Valley Values on display when they sold out shares before the big drop recently. A bit of insider trading while at the same time they kick out the disadvantaged in San Francisco CBD to make way for housing the rich techies.

We used to talk about the importance of the separation of church and state. How about the separation of Hollywood and State? The Seperation of Silicon Valley and the State. Remember those famous words of Obama. Hollywood best projects American values.

by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
April 24, 2014 6:50 PM
XINHUANET (新华网) reported in January 2008 that a secret talk was conducted between the two of Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek(蔣介石) prior to the Cairo Declaration on December 1, 1943. News of Communist party of China (人民网) also reported the same. Those web-sites (posting URL not available here)said “Roosevelt inquired more than once whether China would want all the Ryukyu Islands (including Senkaku). Chiang Kai-shek replied that China would be agreeable to joint occupation of the Ryukyus by China and the US and eventually joint administration by the two countries under the trusteeship of an international organization." That means China refused its territorial right of Ryukyus. Since CCP knows this fact, it cannot be true under the One China policy that Senkakus is China’s territory.

by: meanbill from: USA
April 24, 2014 11:50 AM
The sun is setting on the Island of the Rising Sun, and they do not have a single friend in all of Asia, (AND) Japan must rely on the US to defend them against every country..
China promised, they will never ever give up one inch of the motherland again, so Japan can take the challenge with Obama's promised support, can't they?
In Response

April 24, 2014 1:44 PM
The Chinese love bullying their smaller neighbours,because it is in their blood.They always talked tough,but when they met stronger and superior forces,they would cow-tow and sell their souls to them ,as proven in history when were conquered by the Jurchens,Mongols,Manchurians,Europeans and lastly by the Japanese.

Following their defeat at the end of WW2,the Japanese have been restrained by the pacifist constitutions imposed on them by the Americans,where they are not allowed com batting forces,and their national defence is provided and supervised by the Americans.Now,America is on the decline and out of cash.They have no choice but letting the Japanese sharing the defence burden.

With or without American involvement,if Japan rearms,China would have to think twice before attacking Japan,because the Chinese know deep down inside their minds that the Japanese are a tough breed and well endowed, whose technologies are many years in front of the Chinese imitators,more than a match for them.That is why the Chinese have always tried to oppose any change in the Japanese constitutions for that would offset the balance of power in North East Asia where they got the upper hand at the moment. By the way,most of China is stolen lands anyway,not your motherland,so stop being a crying thief !

April 24, 2014 10:13 AM
It was the West's greed that gave rise to China's territorial ambitions today.If we hadn't tried to maximise our profits by outsourcing everything to China,then China wouldn't have become so rich and powerful,and put them in a strong position where they could threaten everyone,including Americans,and start claiming everything theirs since ancient times.The Senkakus have never been China's,and up to 1945 Taiwan was still part of Japan.If America had known that China would go on seizing Xingjang,Inner Mongolia and Tibet by force,they wouldn't have handed China back to the Chinese on a plate,to let you feel what it is like living under foreign occupation.A strong US-Japan alliance is essential and vital for the peace,stability and prosperity of Asia and the World in face of constant threats from China and North Korea
In Response

April 25, 2014 3:23 PM
Just as Ian's elaboration,if China has acted responsibly and respectfully as a World superpower,promoting peace,stability and prosperity in the region,then everybody in Asia would welcome their rise.However,all that China has ever done,was intimidating all their neighbours into land and sea concessions with the threatened use of force and economic sanctions,which is a total contrast to the "Peaceful rise " that all the Chinese leaders have been trying to project themselves to the world.When China goes on the war path,the rest of Asia have to rearm themselves to prepare for the worst.The Chinese have to learn to live in peace with their neighbours and be contented with what they have got.A war of aggression would bring death and destruction not only to the Chinese people but also all mankind !
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
April 25, 2014 1:44 PM
To ken,
you insult Seato with profane language without read his comment carefully.
You ask "why can't china become one of the strong nations in the world?"

He did not say China can not be one of the strong nation among others , he said as China become rich & powerful , instead of acting responsible with shining examples as a leader, a torch bearer, who provides stability for the world, it becomes greedy for resource , threatening its neighbors & claiming everything belong to China since ancient times .
I believe China did act like a lowlife thug and a bully.
In Response

by: Ken
April 25, 2014 2:34 AM
so the island belongs to taiwan even though the japan occupation "ended". why can't china become one of the strong nations in the world? why someone else needs to take this blame? stop thinking with the little head, Seato.

by: Saito from: Japan
April 24, 2014 10:03 AM
look, the truth is here we don't trust you. what you did in Middle East we see very closely - it is a shame. you promote terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, you allow Assad to stay in power when you promise to remove him, you betrayed Israel (in Japan we love Israel very much). we think you are not smart. in America they call you "incompetent." - we agree.
no one trust you

by: Ken
April 24, 2014 7:07 AM
the island was taken away abusively from taiwan's hands after the world war 2 to japan; however, in a not-so-strictly speaking tone, the island belongs to the chinese indeed.

by: Anonymous
April 24, 2014 4:21 AM
Never believe American's 1
In Response

by: dan from: daytin ohio
April 24, 2014 8:57 AM
All u anti Americans: if it weren't for the US and the blood of its military men and women shed to keep mankind free...the world would be back in the dark ages!

by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
April 24, 2014 3:46 AM
Obama has to pay lip service to Abe for save an ounce of face in Pacific Ocean,becauce he did not only lose American face,but also lost the huge territorial sovereignty in Ukraine.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
April 24, 2014 10:32 AM
Perhaps President Obama is paying lip service to Prime minister Abe as per your guess, but presently, the USA does not have a territorial sovereignty dream or claim in any other country , let alone Ukraine. So we do not lose a "huge territorial sovereignty in Ukraine" as per your belief . Ukraine belong to the Ukrainians .

In contrast, China is the one who tries to claim other countries territorial sovereignty such as the case of Tibet invasion & occupation, other countries border lands such as the case with India, islands and ocean such as with Japan and southeast Asian countries . "China peaceful rising dream" what a bold face lie, an international farce, and a country's mass self-deception!

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