"The Biggest Show Of Force Since World War II": Japan To Send Its Largest Warship To South China Sea

Tyler Durden's picture

The tension over the disputed territory in the South China Sea is about to escalate to another level: according to a Reuters report, Japan is preparing to to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, in "its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two."

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's helicopter carrier Izumo

The 249 meter-long (816.93 ft) Izumo is as large as Japan's World War Two-era carriers and can operate up to nine helicopters. It resembles the amphibious assault carriers used by U.S. Marines, but lacks their well deck for launching landing craft and other vessels.

While China claims almost all the disputed waters despite the regular complaints of other nations in the region, 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, so far Japan's territorial claims have involved the Senkaku island chain in the East China Sea; that however appears to be changing as Japan seeks to stake a military presence in the contested region.

The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July, before returning to Japan in August.

Why create another point of Chinese antagonism over the region? "The aim is to test the capability of the Izumo by sending it out on an extended mission," said one of the sources who have knowledge of the plan. "It will train with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea," he added, asking not to be identified because he is not authorized to talk to the media. A spokesman for Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force declined to comment.

Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the sea which has rich fishing grounds, oil and gas deposits and through which around $5 trillion of global sea-borne trade passes each year. Japan does not have any claim to the waters, but has a separate maritime dispute with China in the East China Sea.


Japan wants to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pushed ties with China in recent months as he has criticized the old alliance with the United States, to visit the Izumo when it visits Subic Bay, about 100 km (62 miles) west of Manila, another of the sources said. Asked during a news conference about his view on the warship visit, Duterte said, without elaborating, "I have invited all of them."

He added: "It is international passage, the South China Sea is not our territory, but it is part of our entitlement." On whether he would visit the warship at Subic Bay, Duterte said: "If I have time."

Japan's unexpected flag-flying operation comes as the United States is conflicted between taking a tougher line with China and making concessions ahead of Xi's visit to Trump next month. Washington has criticized China's construction of man-made islands and a build-up of military facilities that it worries could be used to restrict free movement. Beijing responded in January said it had "irrefutable" sovereignty over the disputed islands after the White House vowed to defend "international territories".

As Reuters notes, Japan in recent years, particularly under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been stretching the limits of its post-war, pacifist constitution and has been making aggressive pushes for a return to militarism. It has designated the Izumo as a destroyer because the constitution forbids the acquisition of offensive weapons. The vessel, nonetheless, allows Japan to project military power well beyond its territory. Based in Yokosuka, near to Tokyo, which is also home to the U.S. Seventh Fleet's carrier, the Ronald Reagan, the Izumo's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare.

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monkman's picture

Just another neocon wet dream.

Arnold's picture

Helis do not provide good air cover.

1stepcloser's picture

they make good Anit Aircraft cannon fodder, while B2s drop JDAMs

HowdyDoody's picture

Ooooh, a nice target for the ultra quiet Chinese subs.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Trump said he wants Japan to use NUKES against China!! He’s going to start World War III! Meanwhile, he’s ignoring the REAL threat of Russian hackers spying on us through our smart phones and logging our Skype conversations! Trump is a freaking LUNATIC!!

How to Interview Conservatives

1stepcloser's picture

I always knew the CIA worked for Russia

BaBaBouy's picture

Will be Fishing for Whales while there...

Perimetr's picture

Last year, Biden told Die Welt that 

"Japan could become a nuclear weapon state virtually overnight".

All the components for nuclear bombs and warheads are made, waiting assembly.

Soon to be assembled.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Well looky there!  Million Dollhair Boners is back. You must have been using your other ID's 

researchfix's picture

"Japan could become a nuclear weapon state virtually overnight"

Fukoshima alone counts for their ability to let loose a bomb.


Citxmech's picture

It's a bit ironic that they dropped the last nuke (Fukushima) on themselves.

The_Juggernaut's picture

Japan has a history of mopping the floor with the dumbass Chinese.  My money's on them. 

N2OJoe's picture

Unless they've been emasculated like the Germans after the very same war. Not just that, but do they even have any fighting age men anymore?

They're stepping in something and It's not going to smell good.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Trump said he wants Japan to use NUKES against China!!"

Link please

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

CBS News....   Oh HEL NO, not satisfied.

Consuelo's picture





'Accredited Times'...?  

darteaus's picture

The article contains the verb "develop".  That is a different verb from the one in your comment "use".  Those verbs are not synonomous.  For example, China has developed ICBMs, and China has not used ICBMs.

Thus, the provided link disproves you original assertion, "Trump said he wants Japan to use NUKES against China!!"

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Not really. Even given that its cbs, I dont get the connection between your assertion and their claims

Avatar Of Failure's picture

Hey,I was missing you,asshat  :-)


HalinCA's picture

Finally, we see the real MDB. No surprize to any ... oh, it turns out MDB is living off trust fund money .... never worked a day in his life ...

sgt_doom's picture

I see?

So Chinese military hackers hack into the Pentagon when Bobby Gates was SecDef --- and defense contractors --- and steal the plans to the major American weapons systems, and then hack into the OPM and steal over 25 million personnel records, and you're afraid of the Russkies, who tipped America off on more than several occasions to terrorists, said tips ignored by the CIA and FBI and Americans died?????

You are a retard, aren't you.

(Rhetorical question, no response desired.)

robertsgt40's picture

I wonder if Japan remembers what happen to their last  big fleet? 

Sanity Bear's picture

One ship sailing off a coast bristling with Sunburn emplacements isn't much of a show of force.

QuantumEasing's picture

Helicopter Carriers:

The naval equivalent of showing up to the biggest party of the year with ten cases of O'Douls.

CATOBAR or go home.

Canary Paint's picture

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,

     A tale of a fateful trip,

That started towards a manmade isle

    Aboard our largest ship." 

Bunghole's picture

The Japs are good at putting ships on the bottom of the Pacific.

Wonder if this ship will have a Takata airbag recall causing it to miss the excercise in the Indian Ocean

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,

     A tale of a fateful trip,

That started towards a manmade isle

    Aboard our largest ship." 

Aaaaaahah, it makes me wonder...


BeansMcGreens's picture

Karaoke ,  pachinko, a sushi bar,

 and the latest Hello Kitty!

Might soon be resting,

On the bottom of the Sea.

abyssinian's picture

The japs ate too much sushi and delusional..lol what a bunch of clowns...helicopter carrier? Are they delivering packages for UPS? Lol

HRClinton's picture

Philosopher Carlin would call it "a lot of dick waving".

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

...until it becomes an ass-fucking!

Darktarra's picture

I just want this to be a war of the ages.  I want a boom bigger than any recorded in human history!  And get Taco Bell too! 

Jason T's picture

I heard it's built with no bolts and no glue.  .. they are that precise!

Dugald's picture


Really? I heard it was built with Tree Nails.....

flapdoodle's picture

The secret is the folds in the steel sheets. Think "origami" but metallic... wait to you see their flying crane.

Erek's picture

Land of the Rising Sun? Could once again become Land of the Rising Fireball. (I hope not!)

MFL5591's picture

McCain wet his pants with glee!

johand inmywallet's picture

That would become a boat anchor real quick. Seriously, I highly doubt any Chinese soldiers or sailors are going to lose any sleep over this deployment. It will make for a nice coral reef in a few years once the war gets hot.

The central planners's picture

And the bast part is that Japan is not allowed to have an army. Imagine if they would.

Squid Viscous's picture

why are the Japs even allowed to have a Navy, wtf??

Macarthur spinning in his grave at max rpm...

nati's picture

The Japanese constitution was written by MacArthur and his staff. Article 9 (the pacifism clause) was pretty much the only contribution from the Japan side. WHen the U.S. entered the Korean War, they had to shift most personnel there and away from Japan, thus the U.S. demanded that Japan create a Self-Defense force (thus the aircraft carrer in the above story). The JSDF not only helped support U.S. troops in the Korean War, but the Vietnam War as well. Now, the U.S. wants Japan to "normalize" and have regular military so Japan can once again serve the U.S. by taking their side in the coming war against China and RUssia. The JSDF has built a base in South Sudan at the behest of the U.S. China also has a base in South Sudan. Coincidence or chess game?

Dominus Ludificatio's picture

US citizens could only wish they had a constitution as good as the the one Japan got after ww2.  Universal basic human rights like like access to education,health care ,welfare,old age security for everyone. Apparently it was too good for a rich country like the US.

urhotdogs's picture

Yup, Utopia for everyone, that's what we need!  Oh wait, people already have that stuff here and look at the results.  Crappy education/healthcare and unemployment because no one has to work.

Justin Case's picture

Noda Yoshihiko Wanted the US military out. He stated that it costs Japan $2bil/yr. to keep the base operational. Righr after that he resigned. Hmmm.

The inhabitants of Okinowa protested many times to shut the US base down on that island. Abe is an excellent puppet for merica.

The Philippine's new leader is reluctant to start a woar with China and has stated he prefers dialogue over fighting. So it's all up to Japan to antagonize China in their economic zone. Merica now deploys THAAD missile defense system in S.Korea to cover the north side of China.

I wonder how yoar neighbors would feel if you paced up and down yoar yard fence with an AK47 on yoar shoulder, just b/c you can, to make sure yoar family is safe?

RagaMuffin's picture

Irony of ironies the US moves THAAD in at the request of the just impeached leader of SK... How about a national referendum for SK's foreign policy or is that too much democracy?

A. Boaty's picture

Referenda on foreign policy in any country would tend to reduce military conflict, so, ain't gonna happen.