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US military can help Japan monitor ‘Chinese incursion’ around disputed E. China Sea islands – commander

US military can help Japan monitor ‘Chinese incursion’ around disputed E. China Sea islands – commander

The US military can help monitor “unprecedented incursions” by Chinese ships around islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan and also claimed by China, the commander of US Forces Japan, General Kevin Schneider, said on Wednesday. The dispute could escalate next month after Beijing lifts a fishing ban in the area, Reuters reported.

The US does not take a position on sovereignty over the uninhabited islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. However, Washington has said that it would help its ally Japan defend against any attack.

China’s Foreign Ministry reacted to Schneider’s comments, saying the islands were Chinese territory. Beijing also called on all parties to uphold stability in the region.