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​Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks during a joint press conference with Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada following a ministerial meeting between the two countries at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 4, 2017. DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith.

​China sent three warships to the Senkaku Islands on Monday, just days after Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirmed its commitment to Japan’s ownership. Three Chinese ships sailed within Japan’s waters about 12 miles off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Monday, FOX News reported. Mattis, during a Saturday briefing with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, said China has shown “increasingly confrontational behavior” in the East and South China Seas, and that the US “opposes any unilateral action to overthrow Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands.” Mattis blasted China’s moves to claim international parts of the East and South China Seas, as threatening the security of the region. “The point behind a rules-based international order, what those words mean, is that we all play by the rules, and if we have disputes we take them to arbitration,” Mattis said. “We don’t settle them by taking military means and occupying land that is subject to question, to say the least about who actually owns it, or is it international waters.”