Exclusive: Japan plans to send largest warship to South China Sea, sources say

FILE PHOTO: A helicopter lands on the Izumo, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF) helicopter carrier, at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

 

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.

China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. Continue reading

Japanese Navy Gets Biggest Warship Since WWII Era Aircraft Carriers

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The Maritime Self Defense Force in Japan made a little bit of history Wednesday by taking delivery of the largest Japanese warship since World War II.

At 813 feet long, the Izumo is the size of approximately eight football fields and has a crew of 470 sailors. Continue reading

Great powers manoeuvre in Asia

Consider the territorial disputes roiling the Indian Ocean and other East Asian regions, sparked by China’s repeated _ and increasingly assertive _ efforts to claim sovereignty over vast maritime areas. As China’s incursions reignite long-smouldering disagreements and threaten to destabile [sic] the regional status quo, countries throughout Asia are reconsidering their strategic positions.

For example, the Philippines is revamping its security strategy by enhancing cooperation with the United States _ China’s counterweight in the region _ only two decades after it closed two major American military installations, the naval base at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base. Vietnam, too, has strengthened its ties with the US. And, after decades of absence, America has resumed training programmes for Indonesia’s military. Continue reading

Japan unveils largest warship since World War II

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense – particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions – and to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Though the ship – dubbed “Izumo” – has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China. Continue reading