US military chief: Avoid war by preparing for it

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Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 2:33 AM

TOKYO (AP) — A top U.S. 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, Gen. Martin Dempsey, made the comments Thursday at Yokota air base amid heightened tensions in the region after repeated threats from North Korea.

The U.S. 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 U.S. is obligated to defend Japanese territory.

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