Top U.s. Uniformed Officer Vows To Defend Japan Over Senkakus

Top U.S. uniformed officer vows to defend Japan over SenkakusGen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed the U.S. resolve Thursday to defend Japan in the event of a military confrontation between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

"We will live up to our treaty obligations" in the event of an attack on the Japanese-administered islands, Dempsey said at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in the suburbs of Tokyo.

Dempsey, who is visiting Japan for the first time since assuming the top post in 2011, referred to U.S. obligations under a long-standing security treaty between the two countries. China also claims ownership of the Senkaku Islands, which it calls Diaoyu.