Obama Sides With Japan In China Islands Dispute

President Barack Obama confirmed America's support of Japan in an ongoing territory dispute with China.
Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 23, 2014

The U.S. is finally weighing in on a major island dispute between China and Japan. And, unsurprisingly, America is siding with its longtime ally. (Via The White House)

Beginning his week-long tour of Asia in Japan, President Barack Obama wrote in a statement: "The policy of the United States is clear — the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan. ... And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.” (Via The White House / Pete Souza)

This comment came Wednesday in response to questions from the Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun. Obama specifically said the islands fall within a U.S.-Japan treaty signed after World War II.

And that "attempts to undermine" Japan statement is no doubt a reference to China's claim to the islands. They're known in Japan as the Senkaku islands — in China as the Diaoyu. (Via NTDTV)

Although the disagreement over who owns them has gone on for years, tensions have just recently reached a high point. Citizens of both nations have protested over the issue. (Via CNN, RT)

And, predictably, China's government is none too pleased with Obama's decision to throw his weight behind Japan.

A commentary on the state-run Xinhua news agency said the president's statement "smacks of a carefully calculated scheme to cage the rapidly developing Asian giant" — meaning China.

Japan's not the only nation locked in a territory dispute with China. Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines all say China has just recently begun exerting control over islands that belong to them. Basically, the South China Sea is a mess.