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US seeks to reassure Japan amid Ukraine crisis fallout

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks to members of a travel press pool on April 5, 2014 en route to Tokyo, Japan from Honolulu, HawaiiYokota Air Base, Tokyo (Japan) (AFP) – US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday vowed America would stand by its security commitments to Tokyo, after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine raised concerns in a region plagued by its own territorial disputes. Hagel, on a two-day visit to Japan as part of a tour of Asia, said Russia’s annexation of Crimea had sparked worries among allies in the Pacific and elsewhere. Japan is locked in a bitter dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea, and some analysts have warned that Russia’s move in Ukraine could embolden Beijing or other powers to take unilateral action to settle territorial claims.

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