TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged higher on Tuesday morning in choppy trade as gains in some index-heavy stocks such as robot maker Fanuc offset worries about a potential trade conflict between the United States and China.
The Nikkei gained 0.2 percent to 21,715.60 in midmorning trade, after trading in negative territory earlier.
Index-heavy stocks such as Fanuc rose 1.0 percent, while Sony Corp gained 1.9 percent.
Meanwhile, defence equipment makers rose on speculation that geopolitical tension may rise after U.S. President Donald Trump promised quick, forceful action in response to a deadly suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, suggesting a potential military response.
Ishikawa Seisakusho surged as much as 12 percent, Howa Machinery jumped as much as 6.3 percent and Shigematsu Works soared 5.4 percent.
Financial stocks underperformed, with Mizuho Financial Group dropping 0.3 percent and Nomura Holdings declining 0.4 percent.
The broader Topix gained 0.2 percent to 1,728.74. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Sam Holmes)