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International relations

Pentagon corrects statement on Senkakus: 'No change in policy'

Spokesman's words on Japanese sovereignty had been read as a shift in position

NEW YORK -- When Pentagon press secretary John Kirby used the word "sovereignty" on Tuesday in response to a question on the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which China claims and calls the Diaoyu, foreign policy and defense analysts in Tokyo responded with surprise and excitement.

While the U.S. has repeatedly made clear that land administered by Japan, including the Senkakus, falls under the bilateral security treaty and thus is subject to protection by American forces, Washington has traditionally not taken a stance on the question of territorial sovereignty over the Senkakus.

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