Escorting US warships, what is Japan's intention?

China Military
Huang Panyue

BEIJING, May 4 (ChinaMil) -- The Japanese government sent the quasi-aircraft carrier Izumo-class helicopter destroyer under its Maritime Self-defense Force to escort the US supply ships in high profile on May 1, 2017, based on the security legislation passed in July 15 in 2015.

This is the first time for Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force ship to escort the US warships after Japan’s new security law entered into force.

The escort route of Izumo was from the southeast coast to the southwest coast of Japan. The US warships did not need "protection" at all. Obviously, Japan plotted the "escort show" out of some petty niggling.

First of all, Japan attempts to take advantage of disturbances to prepare for the constitutional amendment.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated in the constitutional amendment gathering held by Japan Conferences on May 3 that the new constitution would be implemented in 2020 and that Article 9 of the Peace Constitution, which limits operations of the Self Defense Force (SDF), must be amended.

The dispatching of Izumo to escort the US military supply ships is one of Japan’s moves to desensitize military operations by the Japanese Self Defense Force and break the restrictions of the Peace Constitution.

The sensitive military actions will disturb the regional situations, bloat the threat of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and ultimately scare Japanese people into supporting the constitutional amendment for safeguarding national security. This is the ultimate "long-cherished wish" of the Abe administration.

Second, Japan wants to pass a signal of “impregnable alliance between Japan and the United States” by dispatching the Izumo for the escort mission.

Japanese media reported that the Japanese government originally planned to carry out the escort mission in June this year.

However, the “maiden escort mission” was ahead of schedule “thanks to” the Izumo’s patrol in the South China Sea and the DPRK crisis, which not only creates some precedent for the implementation of the new security law content, but also declares Japan’s loyalty to the United States.

Hideki Uemura, a professor at Japan's Ryutsu Keizai University, said implementing the escort mission for the US military is not reasonable in the military sense in itself, and it is just a gesture of compliance that the Abe administration wants to deliver to the United States.

It can be said that the dispatch of Izumo for the US warship escort mission is a result of multiple considerations of Japan.

However, history has repeatedly proved that one-sided strengthening of military force is not feasible to ensure the security of a country. Instead, facing up to history, admitting mistakes, and maintaining friendly relations with neighbors are the permanent solutions to achieve peace and stability.

However, Japan revised their textbooks to deny the history of aggression, and launched militarism education for their children, going against the history trend once and once again.

These actions not only will deteriorate the prospects for the development of Japan, but have also roused rage and aversion from people of victim countries that once suffered aggressions of Japan.

In short, the Abe government constantly escalated its military exercises with the US military, which is not only against the interests of all East Asian countries including Japan, but will also intensify regional conflicts and store up deteriorated relations between countries.

Disclaimer: The Chinese version of the article is from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily. The author is Liu Zhenglu.



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