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Though his nation is in East Asia, newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has driven home the message that he will give diplomatic priority to the Japan-US alliance.
This is because he is looking to the United States for support when dealing with "the threat from China".
Days before he was elected Japan's new prime minister, Abe told US President Barack Obama the security environment in East Asia is "severe" because of China's growing "assertiveness" in the East China and the South China seas. He failed to mention that it was his predecessor's Cabinet that nationalized China's Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, and triggered the tension between the two countries.