WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan says its security alliance with the U.S. is an important deterrent against conflict breaking out between China and Japan over disputed islands.
Tensions between the Asian powers have spiked since Japan last month nationalized some of the tiny islands in waters between Japan and China. Japan's ambassador to Washington Ichiro Fujisaki said (foo-ji-SAH-ki) Thursday that he trusts the leaders of China and Japan will avoid a war.
Fujisaki said the issue should be dealt with calmly and without resorting to force or coercion, or allowing nationalist sentiment to get out of control.
The U.S. has nearly 50,000 forces based in Japan. Washington takes no position over the islands' sovereignty but says they are covered by a security treaty requiring the U.S. to aid Japan if attacked.