US military chief: Avoid war by preparing for it

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TOKYO—A top US military officer has told American troops based in Japan that “the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it.”

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Martin Dempsey, made the comments Thursday at Yokota air base amid heightened tensions in the region after repeated threats from North Korea.

The US in response has deployed an anti-ballistic missile battery to Guam, while the Japanese government has deployed Aegis cruisers and land-based missile interceptors around Tokyo.

Responding to a question about a dispute between Japan and China over a cluster of islands in the East China Sea, Dempsey reaffirmed that Washington would live up to its treaty commitments to Japan. Under a joint security pact, the US is obligated to defend Japanese territory.

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