The U.S. is standing with Japan in the territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea between Japan and China.
The islands over which China declared “a new airspace defense zone last week” are called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
According to Reuters, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel contacted his Japanese counterpart after China’s defense zone was declared, offering assurances that the U.S. would stand with Japan regarding the islands. Moreover, Hagel said “the two nations’ defense pact covered the small islands.”
In a move that was simultaneously a show of defiance toward China and one of solidarity with Japan, the U.S. also flew “two unarmed B-52 bombers over the islands on November 26 without first informing Beijing.”
China says it “monitored” the U.S. bombers. The U.S. says “the planes had not been observed or contacted by Chinese aircraft.”
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