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."