Visiting with his Japanese counterpart, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford today declared that the United States would consider any military attack on Japan to be equal to an attack being carried out against US soil directly.
Gen. Dunford said that the position was “very, very important for deterrence,” and that the US was assuring an “ironclad” military commitment to Japan against North Korea, as wellas “Anyone else in the region” who might stand to be a threat.
This comes just a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made similar assurances to both Japan’s Foreign and Defense Ministers, making a point of insisting that the assurance included US commitment to support Japan’s claims to the contested Senkaku Islands.
Gen. Dunford made no mention of Senkaku. The uninhabited islands are claimed by both Japan and China, though the US recognizes Japan’s claim. Interest is primarily because energy resources are believed to be in the waters off-shore, and both nations might eventually want to claim those.