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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis ahead of their meeting in Tokyo on Feb. 3.
International relations

Mattis included Senkaku isles in US-Japan defense treaty: Japan official

US defense chief, Abe agree to further strengthen alliance

SHOTARO TANI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirmed the U.S.'s commitment to its defense treaty with Japan in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here on Friday. A Japanese official who attended the meeting said Mattis confirmed that the treaty extended to the Senkaku Islands -- which China claims and calls the Diaoyu -- in Okinawa Prefecture.

"I want there to be no misunderstanding during the transition in Washington that we stand firmly, 100%, shoulder to shoulder with you and the Japanese people," Mattis said at the start of the meeting.

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