U.S. Senate passes amendment supporting Senkakus, Japan
The American Senate unanimously injected an amendment in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that sends a message to China that Japan is rightfully administering the Senkaku Islands.
The amendment put forth by Virginia Democrat, a former Marine and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb spells out U.S. opposition to any efforts to coerce, threaten to use force or use force to resolve territorial issues. The amendment does not take a position on which country has actual sovereignty over the tiny disputed islands in southern Okinawa Prefecture.
Webb’s amendment concludes with reaffirmation of American commitment to the defense of territories now administered by Japan. It states “The peaceful settlement of territorial and jurisdictional disputes in the East China Sea requires the exercise of self-restraint by all parties in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and destabilize the region, and differences should be handled in a constructive manner consistent with the universally recognized principles of customary international law.”
The Senate document also states firmly that “white the United States takes no position on the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands, the United States acknowledges the administration of Japan over the Senkaku Islands. The unilateral actions of a third party will not affect the United States acknowledgement of the administration of Japan over the Senkaku Islands.” Webb says the amendment was needed because “Over the past several years, China has taken increasingly aggressive actions to assert its claim over the islands in the East China Sea and in a broad expanse of the South China Sea.