The Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs will reaffirm during a meeting this week that the bilateral security treaty covers defense of the disputed Senkaku Islands, according to government sources in both countries.

The small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are controlled by Japan but claimed by China.

With concern growing that Washington's security commitments could falter under President Donald Trump, Japan and the U.S. will seek to underline the robustness of the security alliance by confirming that the Senkakus fall under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty, amid China's growing maritime assertiveness in the region, the sources said Sunday.