Secretary of State Antony Blinken was behind President Joe Biden’s remark that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkakus in Okinawa Prefecture, it was learned recently. The U.S. President made the remark last fall during a teleconference with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Blinken served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President, as well as Deputy Secretary of State, in the Obama administration. He was the foreign policy advisor to the Biden campaign during last year’s presidential election. After the teleconference with Biden, Suga said, “I didn’t in the least expect that the U.S. side would bring up the topic in our first teleconference,” indicating that the President’s remarks were unprompted.
The Biden administration created in the National Security Council a new post to oversee Indo-Pacific policy, Indo-Pacific Coordinator, and has tapped former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell (Obama administration) to fill the position. Campbell is deeply familiar with Japan. “The Biden administration has clearly indicated its intention to strengthen its commitment in Asia. As both Campbell and Blinken have thorough knowledge of Japan, their appointments will benefit
Japan-U.S. bilateral relations,” said a source in Washington, D.C.