FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2017, file photo, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, right, speaks as President Donald Trump, left, listens at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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New Pentagon chief James Mattis Wednesday heads to South Korea and Japan, where he will seek to reassure the key U.S. allies about American security commitments in the region.Some 28,500 U.S. troops are based in South Korea and 47,000 in Japan.According to South Korea's defense ministry, defense chief Han Min-Koo and his new U.S. counterpart vowed Tuesday to push ahead with a plan to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system this year despite angry protests by China.Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women -- mostly from the then-Japanese colony of Korea but also from other parts of Asia including China -- were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II.During his Senate confirmation hearings, Mattis stressed the U.S. strategic interest in its alliances with Japan and South Korea.Mattis is well-liked by U.S. troops and lawmakers.
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