The US intends to defend Japan with nuclear weapons, defend Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands

The United States seeks to secure Japan’s security with the aid of its nuclear weapons, among other means. This is mentioned in a joint statement issued by the American and Japanese governments on Wednesday following discussions between the foreign and military ministers of the two countries in Washington.

In line with Article 5 of the Treaty on Mutual Cooperation and Security Assurances, the United States of America reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Japan’s defence by pledging to use any and all [military] capabilities at its disposal, including nuclear weapons. This is a reference to the clause of the treaty that states that each party considers military action against an ally to be a threat to its national security and that each party reserves the right to respond in line with the laws of its own constitution if this threat is ever posed.

The statement clarifies that the participants in the present conference in Washington DC discussed in detail topics connected to shielding Japan with the American nuclear umbrella. They confirmed the intention of both countries to further substantive conversations within the framework of the dialogue on extended deterrence [of a possible adversary] and numerous high-level meetings, the communiqué emphasises.

The United States also agreed that the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, which are governed by Japan and are at the centre of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, are included in the scope of the security pact between Japan and the United States. This was discussed in a “two plus two” format meeting that took place between the foreign policy and defence chiefs of the United States and Japan on Wednesday in Washington. The meeting resulted in a joint statement that included this information.

The United States affirmed that Article 5 of the United States-Japan Treaty on Mutual Cooperation and Security Guarantees applies to the Senkaku Islands, according to the document. It is emphasised that the foreign and defence ministries of the two nations also criticised “China’s increasing attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea by force,” including actions intended to undermine Japanese control of the designated islands.

This is the fifth article of the treaty, which states that each party views any military aggression against an ally as a threat to its national security and reserves the right to respond in accordance with its own constitutional obligations.

The foreign and defence ministries of the two nations also condemned China’s illegal and aggressive actions in the South China Sea.

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