Transcript of a regular press briefing with Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the US Department of State:
Chinese journalist: What is the official name for the Senkaku Islands for the United States? Is it the Diaoyu Islands or the Senkaku Islands? Or both are okay?
Victoria Nuland: I’m going to my special little rocks cheat sheet here because this is getting quite complicated with different things here.
Journalist: Yes, do you have one?
Nuland: So, make sure I get it right here… So… As we’ve said… we call them the Senkakus, if that’s the question that you’re asking. We don’t take a position on them, as we’ve said all the way through.
Journalist: So you don’t take a position on them, but on the other hand, you think that the islands are covered by the defense treaty between Japan and the United States, right?
Nuland: Yes, we’ve consistently said that we see them falling under the scope of Article 5 of the 1960 US-Japan Treaty.
Journalist: Do you think that is contradictory? For me, that sounds contradictory. You said you don’t have a position on the sovereignty of the islands, but on the other hand you said it’s covered under the Treaty, which only protects Japanese treaty.
Nuland: But this is because the Senkakus have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa since 1972.
Journalist: So let me rephrase my question. Do you regard the Islands as Japanese territory?
Nuland: Again we don’t take a position on the Islands, but we do assert that they are covered under the Treaty.
Journalist So you think the Islands are under the administration of…
Nuland: I think I’ve answered the question. Let’s move on…