Japan is yet again sending one of its two large helicopter carriers to the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, it was reported on Wednesday, in a bid to maintain a presence in a region where China’s naval footprint is expanding rapidly.
The Izumo-class Kaga will set sail in September, making stops in Southeast Asia as well as at ports in India and Sri Lanka, according to reporting from Reuters, which cited two Japanese officials.
“This is part Japan’s efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” one of the officials said.
The Izumo-class helicopter carriers, technically classified as destroyers, are the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest class of ship. One former MSDF official said early this year that the Izumo, the first ship of the class, was originally designed to be converted into an aircraft carrier for use with the vertical-takeoff version of the F-35 stealth fighter jet.
The Asahi Shimbun has also reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is considering refitting the ships to become full-blown aircraft carriers, though such a move may face legal hurdles. Japan’s constitution prohibits the country from deploying anything that is classified as an “offensive weapon.”
For now, the Kaga, which will be accompanied by an escort ship and may conduct ad hoc joint drills during its tour, is capable of operating several helicopters simultaneously.
Japan has been somewhat cautious in its approach to naval activity in the region, declining to take part in US-led freedom of navigation operations near Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea. In contrast, the UK and France announced in early June that they would be conducting FONOPs in the region.
AMAZING WE WERE PROMISED FOR AMERICAN EFFORTS DURING WW2 AND HUGE LOSS OF LIFE BY THE JAPANESE WE WOULD NEVER AGAIN SEE A MILITARIZED JAPAN. BUT IT SEEMS TIMES HAVE CHANGED AND THE JAPANESE MILITARIST WHO RAN THE SHOW DURING THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY TILL THEY WERE DEFEATED IN 1945 ARE AGAIN IN POWER AND TO THUMB THEIR JAPANESE NOSES AT AMERICA THEY NAMED THE"" KAGA"" AFTER ONE OF THE CARRIERS THAT STRUCK PEARL HARBOR ON DEC 7 1941.IT HAD COMMANDER ADMIRAL NAGUMO BATTLE COMMANDER OF THE ATTACK WHO MADE THE FATAL MISTAKE OF CANCELLING THE THIRD WAVE OF ATTACK .HAD HE DONES SO THE WAR WOULD HAVE GO ON FOR YRS MORE .
Without knowing China’s occupation of WPS/SCS are setting an example to other countries that may lead at the end for all nations facing the sea to do the similar thing that China did in occupying more area over the ocean that may also prevent China and limit their movements like what other countries feel the same way in WPS/SCS.
What I want to know is, would you have this much issue with Germany? They’re Canadian and U.S. allies. So, I’m guessing that you’re an american mr stalin. And the question I have for you is do you people ever SHUT THE HELL UP?!!!
Punish and destroy all those greedy and selfish countries trying to grab and claim ownership an openseas.
THOSE GREEDY COUNTRIES TRYING TO CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF AN OPENSEAS MUST BE PUNISH BY ALLMIGHTY GOD.
Well, this time, Japan’s military strengthening has a consent from the USA, readying to defend the freedom of navigation along the corridor of the West Philippine Sea. Japan is a very fine-civilized nation to know its experiences & their rights against oppressor.
JAPAN IS ABSOLUTELY ON ITS RIGHT PATH! GO JAPAN!
Helping asian countries facing China by friends and allies to increase their military capability would prevent China from her aggressive move, it will all served as a threshold to protect their own exclusive economic zone from China’s expansive activities. China are talking advantage of asian limited military resources and capability resulting into occupation of several rocks, atolls and other islets that they converted into their own military facilities.
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