US, Japan review worst-case plans for island dispute
WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States and Japanese officers are discussing worst-case contingency plans for retaking disputed islands in the East China Sea if China moves to seize them, US officials said on Wednesday.
"We have contingency plans, and we discuss them with allies," a US official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity, saying it was "natural" that the two governments would confer on emergency scenarios given recent tensions.
A Pentagon official, who also asked not to be quoted by name, confirmed the discussions, saying "we're a planning organisation". Both sources, however, said the US government did not want to fuel tensions, and that the contingency planning would be only one of many topics on the agenda when top US and Japanese officers meet in Hawaii later this week. Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the US Pacific Command, is scheduled to host General Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Japanese Self Defence Forces Joint Staff, for Thursday's talks.
Officially, the Pentagon would neither confirm nor deny whether the contingency plans were under discussion.