US and Japan announce 'historic' security deal

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed an "historic" success as he and US President Barack Obama signed an agreement on security issues and made progress in bilateral trade talks.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying they oppose attempts to assert territorial or maritime claims by coercion and specifying that their bilateral security treaty covers Japanese islands claimed by China.

They failed to reach a bilateral trade deal that is key to both leaders' agendas. But Abe said they achieved a "key milestone" by making progress on the talks, which they said will inject "fresh momentum" into attempts to reach a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact.

Read: Barack Obama: negotiating Asia's troubled waters

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Obama assures Japan over disputed Senkaku isles

Barack Obama has assured Japan that the US is committed to its defence, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China. His comments drew a swift response from China, which said the disputed islets were Chinese territory.