Japan and the United States plan to draw up an operations plan for a combined response by their armed forces to Chinese threats to the Senkaku Islands, government sources said Saturday.

Tokyo and Washington are already discussing how to respond in the event of an emergency on or around the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, the sources said, and aim to finish crafting the plan by next March.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said America's commitment to defend Japan under Article 5 of the two countries' security treaty extends to the Senkaku Islands. The article obligates the United States to help protect territory under Japanese administration in the case of an armed attack.