politics

Japan considers refitting helicopter carrier for stealth fighters: gov't sources

45 Comments
By Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly

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45 Comments
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For self defence of course.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Aircraft carriers are used to project power, there is no need for Japan to have one, even a tiny one!

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

It's what the thing was built for, it's about time they just came out and admitted it.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Japan can get out from the melancholy of the impotent by enforcing our military capability.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Japan can get out from the melancholy of the impotent by enforcing our military capability.

I'd like to clarify something. The only reason japan didn't go the way of the Germans as far as deep contrite apologies for atrocities along with reparations is American umbrella. The moment that umbrella is lifted, please kindly prepare to meet the demands of all nations affected.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Yes this writing was on the wall well before the Izumo/Kaga were even launched. I suppose they figured that if their region remained peaceful and without threats, they could just keep them as "helicopter carriers. High time that the ONLY Asian country to have ever operated aircraft carriers get back into the game. Difference of course being that Japan is on our side now and works closely with the US Navy. When the Izumo was launched the band played both the "Gunkan March" and "Anchors Aweigh".

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Japan is also wary of China's long-range missiles

I've been thinking for a while all this talk about defense and changing the constitution has nothing to do with North Korea. Everyone's looking in the wrong direction.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

bang those drums ;o(

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Nations who seek international attention and recognition aquires Aircraft Carriers. For instance; Spain, UK, France, «Thailand», South Korea, USA, Russia and China! These countries specifically, seek to have a powerful influence on the world!

Countries like; Japan, Germany and Italy still have major constraints to their military powers, given the outcome of WW2. But also given the despicable brutality of the former Axis. It is thereby totally natural for these countries to follow up with the agreement after WW2, since they’re all indirectly and directly protected by NATO.

There’s no need to create hostile situations just to reincarnate a lost glory! That’s selfish and gives no consideration of history! Japan refitting the Izumo-carrier will inevitably lead to dangerous clashes with Russia and China.

Japan, who is 25,30 times smaller than China and approx 1,27 billion less populated should by all mean try to avoid actions that might trigger China. Uppgrading Izumo will definitely see actions from Beijing!

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

If making a statement was what what they wanted to do, it is much cheaper to rent a couple of buses and transport Diet members to Yasukuni.

Anyway, just 10 jets and seemingly no accommodation for the planned helicopters, and so on; plus the provision that Izumo can become a stand in if land bases are attacked or nuked. They seem to like this plan.

As though this was not the plan all along!!!

Um, my taxes and yours are paying for all of this too.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

To silence the rude words and provocations of our neighbors, it is necessary to equip us with good arms.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

But Japan did pay reparations and has apologized so many times that the list seems endless.

Here’s the list of apologies:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Didn't see that one coming. Seriously though, Japan has built and owns one of the world's deadliest submarines, they may as well square out their fleet with a "not-built-as-an-aircraft-carrier-just-converted-to-one-later" ships.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Beijing can do whatever it likes and yet it has the audacity to complain

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/china-upset-at-japans-plan-to-buy-f35b-stealth-fighter-jump-jets-for-its-helicopter-carriers/news-story/2a4e34b4ff6329661d8aa9f0ddb7f671

From the article - “We urge Japan to do more that may help enhance mutual trust and promote regional peace and stability,” Beijing’s spokeswoman said.

LOL. Can they not see the irony in that statement given their actions over the last decade? Its absolutely unreal.

The choice for Japan is very simple. Either Japan stands up for itself or it will be dictated too now and forever more. Its also highly likely that it will see the Senkaku island territories taken.

China will continue to build its military at breakneck speed no matter what Japan does. You should not think that if Japan shelves this idea that Beijing will withdraw its fighter flights from near Japan or withdraw its naval forces and fishing ships from sailing around the Senkaku islands on a never ending basis.

There intention is reclaim every bit of territory they historically think is theirs, regardless of the accuracy of the facts. Ask the Indians about Arunachal Pradesh for instance.

If Japan wants to ween itself off their reliance on the U.S, moves such as this are necessary and completely justifiable.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

I support this move 100% and am hoping a few more carriers with deep strike abilities are launched too. China, Russia, and NK have brought this on themselves with their uncivilised behaviour, expect to hear more whingeing noises from them over the coming months.

However, I would still prefer if Japan just developed a 1,000 thermo nuke second strike capability, making even these carriers unnecessary.. This is the only permanent deterrent Japan could deploy

10 ( +17 / -7 )

I support this move 100% and am hoping a few more carriers with deep strike abilities are launched too. China, Russia, and NK have brought this on themselves with their uncivilised behaviour, expect to hear more whingeing noises from them over the coming months.

However, I would still prefer if Japan just developed a 1,000 thermo nuke second strike capability, making even these carriers unnecessary.. This is the only permanent deterrent Japan could deploy

I think there is an opportunity for Japan to pick up used U.S nuclear strike subs in another 5 - 10 years. I'm hoping Australia does the same. We have these new subs the French are building for us and that will be fine for conventional circumstances but we still lack anything with real teeth.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

To silence the rude words and provocations of our neighbors, it is necessary to equip us with good arms.

LOL... You'd better wake up to reality, son.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

I think there is an opportunity for Japan to pick up used U.S nuclear strike subs in another 5 - 10 years. I'm hoping Australia does the same. We have these new subs the French are building for us and that will be fine for conventional circumstances but we still lack anything with real teeth.

Ah those beautiful French subs that will be obsolete by the time they are commissioned. A clear demonstration that we are indeed a paper tiger in the region.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Schopenhauer: "To silence the rude words and provocations of our neighbors, it is necessary to equip us with good arms."

Japan is just as rude and provocative as it's neighbor, and historically FAR more so. This is an act of aggression, not peace, and not in line with the Constitution. Maybe Abe's forgotten about the last time Japan had a carrier.

-15 ( +8 / -23 )

Smart move..sooner or later we need to prepare for a war with North Korea!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I think there is an opportunity for Japan to pick up used U.S nuclear strike subs in another 5 - 10 years. I'm hoping Australia does the same. We have these new subs the French are building for us and that will be fine for conventional circumstances but we still lack anything with real teeth.

Ah those beautiful French subs that will be obsolete by the time they are commissioned. A clear demonstration that we are indeed a paper tiger in the region.

Not sure about obsolete. I think the price we paid and the time-frame for delivery is ridiculous.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sounds good! They were intended to be aircraft carriers all along.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

beijing was right

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

It’s a slippery slope to war....

...and we’re led by some very slippery people.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

I think what we might see in the future is something similar to what happened with the UK and Argentina. Russia and Ukraine/Crimea.

A future threatened dictatorship, the chinese communist party, may in an attempt to unite a country behind a cause may try to take some islands from another country possibly from weaker countries first to test the USs response. If the US is seen as an unreliable ally in the future, as it was in the Falklands, then china may well see what else it can get away with. There would be too much money involved for the US to go to war with china even over Taiwan, and would spend its time talking in the UN.

In the event that china does suffer a huge economic crisis and civil unrest in the future, then they may be tempted to take these islands in a limited actio, and nothing more.

Japan it will have to either put up, and retake any islands or shut up, by itself or let the islands go. For that they would need carriers. Similar to the how the UK retook the Falklands. With air/sea exclusion zones, and sadly losses.

The only problem with this is, china will have a much better trained force than Argentina, a larger navy, a modern airforce, and a huge population of "young men" made even worse with the one child policy favouring men who may be willing to fight for a piece of soil.

So maybe if it looks like a carrier, quacks like a carrier, then maybe it is time to call it a fully fledged carrier, before china has built up its carrier fleet before things become too unbalanced.

If history has shown anything, from WW2, the Falklands, Middle East, it has shown how powerful the carrier is.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@smithinjapan

This is an act of aggression

Ridiculous statement. Act of aggression is a direct, clear-cut military action like an invasion or a missile attack. Invasions of Iraq or Libya - that were acts of aggrression. Decision to consider some refitting of ship is not.

Basically a prudent decision by the J-government. One of basic rules of strategy is to identify real military treats in order to properly use your resources. Japan faces two military threats: North Korea and China. Against North Korean missiles helecopter carriers are not of much use. But the threat from China is more multifaceted and conventional, and here Izumo can be very handy.

But the purchase of F-35s is completely unnecessary. The aircraft is still beset by numerious problems, completely untested and insanely expensive. Canada has already bailed out of the program. Japan should do the same.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why do we even have manned fighters at all? What happened to drones? Let little Billy with his remote control and a thirst for combat zap the enemy out of the sky.

I would invest more heavily in submarines What the enemy can't see scares the cr@p out of them. Just look at that shark from JAWS, or the Blair Witch. Park the subs right off of their coasts but in international waters. Send a clear message: launch anything our way, and the subs will smoke you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithinjapan

This is an act of aggression

Ridiculous statement. Act of aggression is a direct, clear-cut military action like an invasion or a missile attack. Invasions of Iraq or Libya - that were acts of aggrression. Decision to consider some refitting of ship is not.

Not to a Korean. Fire a missile over a sovereign nation? Threaten to annihilate another country? Not an act of aggression.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Defensive is determined by the actions of the aggressor or potential aggressor. Japan lives in an area of the world made dangerous by aggressive neighbours, therefor what is a defensive response capability is determined by the threat posed. Provision of mobile airfields to defend outlying territories is just as "defensive" as building land based airfields and some what more economic. Of course if China was not continuously making threatening gestures towards its neighbours territories including Japan, then the need for this capability would never have come up.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Defensive is when you defend your own, not destroy anyone elses'. I get it, disillusioned nationalistic rednecks are proud the country is getting back to Nanking's age (which they deny as vehemently as neo-fascists deny holocaust), but neither world nor the remains of proper society will allow to sway Japan into warmongering past. The past was there to learn from it. Some disgruntled human shames did not, but there are those will stand to their inhumanity and corruption.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Japan should just acquire a couple of nuclear devices & we'll all see the quietening down of that 'we are always right' neighbor to the north...or they'll scream out even louder - whichever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not sure about obsolete. I think the price we paid and the time-frame for delivery is ridiculous.

They will be. By the time these are commissioned there will be 2 class generations of submarines developed by other countries. The cost for our own will blow out too, we are only capable of building hills hoist clothelines, building submarines in South Australia is a joke. Building them anywhere here isn't feasible. I think we should be thankful of our location, as isolated as it is, this nation is incapable of making a difference anywhere apart from the Pacific islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I re-read the comments I posted on the thread for "Japan plans to send its largest warship to South China Sea" run on Japan Today Mar. 14, 2017 and found my comments there were spot-on and not beside the point at all. Here are what I commented on:

Why is this gigantic warship called an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) carrier and classified as a destroyer? It's no different from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in size and as regards almost all other specifications. (Mar. 15, 2017 - 07:36AM JST)

It may lack a well deck to release assault vehicles and troops the Bonhomme Richard has. So it may not be an assault ship, but can't it be turned into a regular assault aircraft carrier with only minor changes made in a short period of time? (Mar. 15, 2017 - 04:07PM JST)

It may lack enough space on the deck to carry a required number of aircraft, as you say. But when it participated in joint Japan-U.S. exercises off the U.S. coast last year, it demonstrated capability to put a landed MV-2 Osprey away into a storage space under the deck. Can't its cruising speed at 30 knots (56 km/h) deal with landing and taking-off jet planes easily? (Mar. 16, 2017 - 08:19AM JST )

You sound as if the Izumo could carry only outmoded jets. But aren't AV-8's and F-35's cutting-edge aircraft, the former having a V/STOL function and the latter a stealth function? (Mar. 19, 2017 - 07:56AM JST)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Go Japan!!!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The bottom line: Building such assault ships is blatantly against Japan's Pacifist Constitution.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The bottom line: Building such assault ships is blatantly against Japan's Pacifist Constitution.

If you want really want the US military out as bad as you say, you're going to have to start accepting that the Japanese military requires weapon systems like these and the pacifist constitution will need revising more than ever.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They should keep the helo carrier and build a second. Japan is going to need it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Article 9 of the Constitution is said to have been inserted by then Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara, who probably thought that was what the GHQ wanted to pacify Japan. The public welcomed it enthusiastically and celebrated its promulgation all across the nation because they thought Japan was reborn as a pacifist nation, shedding its abominable past completely. 

But the U.S. was soon to realize that was a mistake for the security of the region with U.S. forces reigning over it and embarked on reversing its policy, rearming Japan with an armed force initially called "National Police Reserve" and then "National Safety Forces", the predecessors of today's Self-Defense Forces.

So, extanker, your thinking is no different from the GHQ's policy makers, encouraging Japan to rearm to the teeth. No wonder Japan's ultra-rightists, who have a penchant for Japan's “glorious” military past, consider the U.S. establishment their best friends. In other words, they are all part of the same gang -- revisionists, militarists and all.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The Izumo IS an aircraft carrier.

Why continue habit of lying and denial ?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So, extanker, your thinking is no different from the GHQ's policy makers, encouraging Japan to rearm to the teeth. No wonder Japan's ultra-rightists, who have a penchant for Japan's “glorious” military past, consider the U.S. establishment their best friends. In other words, they are all part of the same gang -- revisionists, militarists and all.

Of course and I’m sure China and North Korea would completely respect Japan being weak and defenseless too.

Either the US stands behind Japan or they get the ability to stand up for themselves. This is the real world we live in and there is no other option.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My tax money. My constitution.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

extanker,

You seem to acknowledge the United States is no different from the imperial and militaristic Japan of yesteryear. So the U.S. is an imperialist power in your view?.

You also seem to be encouraging Japan to rearm itself to the teeth so that it can fight a proxy war against North Korea and China on behalf of the U.S. or at least fight a war against them along with the U.S. as its loyal subordinate.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Calling the Izumo a helicopter carrier is SNEAKY!

Old habits die hard indeed!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

extanker,

You seem to acknowledge the United States is no different from the imperial and militaristic Japan of yesteryear. So the U.S. is an imperialist power in your view?.

You also seem to be encouraging Japan to rearm itself to the teeth so that it can fight a proxy war against North Korea and China on behalf of the U.S. or at least fight a war against them along with the U.S. as its loyal subordinate.

What?? Where do you get any of that nonsense from?? Just when I think I’ve heard the craziest thing out of your mouth, you out do it by a mile.

Imperialistic? Hardly. The US supports its allies, especially those we have an obligation to like Japan with a mutual security treaty.

I encourage Japan to be self sufficient in its defense. That is a far cry from ‘arming itself to the teeth’.

I don’t know what fantasy land you live in where a country surrounded by hostile nations could survive on good intentions alone but this is not it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

extanker,

I agree with you when you suggest that a nation must be self-sufficient for its own security. Who can dispute that? But that self-sufficiency must be something that must be decided on by the nation in question. It's not something that a domineering nation with so many bases planted in another virtually-occupied nation should dictate to do.  

Rightist-minded Japanese people, who have a penchant for Japan's "glorious" military past, identify themselves with the U.S., thinking the U.S. is their best friends. This solidarity feeling is not a one-way traffic, though; it's vice versa. It is in this context that I suspect the U.S. may be an imperial nation not very different from the imperial, militaristic Japan of yesteryear.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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