Japan’s Largest Ship Sails on protection mission!

  • Image result for photo of Izumo shipStory by Jet Setting Magazine Correspondent Adele Wilson
  • TOKYO, MAY 1, 2017; New security laws put to test as Japan’s largest naval vessel
    embarks on protection mission near Shikoku. .
    With tensions high on the Korean Peninsula, the Maritime Self-Defense
    Force on Monday began its first operation to safeguard U.S. military vessels
    since the enactment of two new security laws last year permitted such
    actions, sources familiar with the matter said,.
    The mission, ordered by Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, is apparently
    aimed at demonstrating the Japan-U.S. security alliance and deterring North
    Korea from further nuclear and missile tests.
    The MSDF helicopter carrier Izumo left Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa
    Prefecture in the morning and linked up with a U.S. Navy supply ship on the
    Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture.
    (note) The Bōsō Peninsula is a peninsula that encompasses the entirety of Chiba Prefecture on Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It forms the eastern edge of Tokyo Bay, separating it from the Pacific Ocean.
    The Izumo, Japan’s largest postwar naval vessel, is expected to sail for two
    days in the Pacific toward waters in the Shikoku region, government
    sources said.
    The supply ship escorted by the 19,500-ton Izumo is likely to refuel other
    U.S. vessels deployed in waters near Japan in anticipation of potential
    missile tests by North Korea, as well as ships sailing with the aircraft
    carrier USS Carl Vinson, stationed near the Korean Peninsula.
    The Carl Vinson and MSDF vessels entered the Sea of Japan on Saturday
    for exercises. Although the pacifist nature of the Constitution puts a limit on Self-Defense
    Force activities, the security laws loosened those constraints by allowing
    SDF troops to guard vessels and weapons belonging to U.S. forces when the
    United States is engaged in activities beneficial to the defense of Japan.
    The protection mission can be conducted in certain situations, including
    when the two are engaged in joint exercises or performing monitoring and
    data-gathering activities related to the North’s missile launches.
    The MSDF personnel are allowed to use weapons to a certain extent to
    carry out the mission. But due to constitutional constraints, they must stay
    away from combat zones involving allied countries.
    As Japan cannot constitutionally settle international disputes via “use of
    force,” the government restricts the area of SDF activities to ensure they
    will not be viewed as an “integral part” of military operations conducted
    by other countries.


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