China’s state media, the Xinhua news agency, reported yesterday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not able to obtain specific words of support for Japan from United States President Barack Obama with regard to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute. Xinhua said that “Washington weighed between a desire to enhance traditional ties with Tokyo against a growing need to cultivate healthy relations with Beijing,” adding that the US government played down the issue and intentionally refrained from giving explicit support to Japan.
According to Xinhua, this was “contrary to Abe’s great hope of showing off the ‘robust’ U.S.-Japan alliance.” It took note of Obama’s short statements after the meeting with Abe and absence of any mention regarding the territorial rift between Japan and China. Although, the publication did acknowledge that Obama stressed that his country’s alliance with the East Asian nation was the “central foundation for our regional security and so much of what we do in the Pacific region.”
It said that Abe’s demeanor “was somewhat restrained by Washington’s snub,” in contrast to the “aggressive and rash statements” he had said prior to his departure from Tokyo. Xinhua went on to say that the result of Abe’s visit “manifested the U.S. attempts to strike a tricky balance” and clearly showed that the U.S. “hated seeing its highly interwoven ties with Beijing damaged by Japan’s rash behavior.”