TOKYO (AP) -- The United States says it's committed to defending Japan and opposes any coercive action by China to seize territory under Japanese control in the East China Sea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. isn't taking a position in the dispute over the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Japan and China have sparred over the uninhabited islands in recent years.
Kerry's strong words of support Sunday for America's ally come just a day after he promised new levels of U.S.-Chinese cooperation on a host of problems, most notably North Korea's nuclear program.
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