Obama says Washington 'obliged to act' if disputed islands attacked

Obama says Washington 'obliged to act' if disputed islands attacked
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and US President Barack Obama.

TOKYO - Barack Obama Thursday told a press conference in Japan that islands at the centre of a bitter territorial dispute with China are covered by a defence treaty that would oblige Washington to act if they were attacked.

"Article five (of the US-Japan security treaty) covers all territories under Japan's administration including (the) Senkaku islands," he said.

"We do not believe that they should be subject to change unilaterally, and what is a consistent part of the alliance is that the treaty covers all territories administered by Japan.

"This is not a new position. This is a consistent one." "We stand together in calling for disputes in the region, including maritime issues, to be resolved peacefully through dialogue."

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