Biden to meet Japan leaders amid China tensions
US Vice President Joe Biden will meet Japanese leaders Tuesday, with Tokyo hoping for some fulsome backing in its vicious territorial spat with China.
Biden arrived in Tokyo late Monday on the first leg of an Asian tour that will also take him to Beijing and to Seoul.
It comes as tensions in the region are at their highest for years, with China and Japan squaring off over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
“In Tokyo, the Vice President will reaffirm the enduring strength of the US-Japan alliance as a cornerstone of peace and stability in the region,” the White House said in a statement.
Last month Beijing declared an Air Defence Identification Zone, or ADIZ, over the East China Sea, including the disputed chain, in which it warned all aircraft had to obey Chinese orders or face unspecified “defensive emergency measures”.
The US, Japan and South Korea, angry at the declaration, have all sent military or paramilitary aircraft into the zone since.
In Washington, senior administration officials said Biden, who is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing later this week, plans to convey Washington’s “concerns” to China and seek clarity regarding its intentions with the move.