'Japan's alliance with US serving as Senkaku deterrent for China,' says ambassador
Japan's alliance with the United States has served as a 'deterrent' in the territorial dispute with China as it called for calm in the row, Japanese ambassador to the U.S. has said.
Though Washington has stated that it takes no position on the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, it has made clear that its security treaty with Japan covers all areas under Tokyo's control.
"I think that constitutes an important deterrence," the Japan Times quoted Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, as saying.
The United States "has been saying that they do not take a position on the sovereignty issue but have always stated that U.S.-Japan security arrangements would cover those islands," he added.
According to the report, Fujisaki downplayed speculation that the row and the island dispute with South Korea could flare into full-blown conflicts.
"That's not going to happen, that should not happen. This is not started by us - by Japan - and we have a good historical and legal position," he said.
"However, our position is very clear - we are not going to raise tension and try to take it up emotionally. We would like to calmly deal with this," he added.
The rows between the countries have spread to globally, with China shunning the annual IMF and World Bank meetings under way in Tokyo. However, Fujisaki credited China with making progress in recent weeks in controlling anti-Japanese protests.