AP News

Japan assures US of calm response to China tension

WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan has assured the U.S. it will respond calmly to actions by China that have increased tensions between the two Asian powers.

As a treaty ally of Japan, the U.S. could be drawn into a conflict between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

After meeting Secretary of State John Kerry, Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (FOO'-mee-oh Kih-SHEE'-dah) said the two sides agreed they will respond "calmly and with resolve" to China's actions, including its recent declaration of an air defense zone.

Kerry said the U.S. was committed to upholding its treaty obligations with Japan.

Both diplomats affirmed the importance of finalizing a 12-nation, trans-Pacific trade pact that has run into opposition from President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats. Obama is expected to visit Japan in April.

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