The U.S. Army's Pacific commander, Gen. Charles Flynn, said he is in no rush to withdraw rocket launchers and other equipment from a Japanese military base at the edge of the East China Sea even after the joint training they were used in ended.

"Some of the equipment we are just going to leave here" until the next joint drills, he said on a visit on Thursday to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force base on Amami Oshima, part of an island chain stretching toward Taiwan.

"It's an opportunity for us to keep capabilities forward," he added.