China warns Japan against militarism, says Tokyo must learn lessons of history

March 23, 2017 2:02 pm

Japan Maritime
Self-Defense Force’s latest Izumo-class helicopter carrier, DDH-184
Kaga, leaves a port after a handover ceremony for the JMSDF by Japan
Marine United Corporation in Yokohama, Japan March 22, 2017. (Photo by

said on Thursday that it hoped
the entry into service of Japan’s second biggest helicopter carrier, the
Kaga, did not mean a return to the country’s past militaristic history.
The ship, along with its sister, the Izumo, gives Japan’s military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said that in recent years
Japan had exaggerated the “China threat” as an excuse to expand its
“I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the
US military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of
history,” Hua told a daily briefing, adding, “We hope the return of
the Kaga is not trying to be the start of the ashes of Japanese
militarism burning once more.”
Japan’s second big helicopter
carrier, the Kaga, entered service on Wednesday, giving the nation’s
military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back
against China’s growing influence in .
Accompanied by a
military band, Maritime Self Defense Force commanders took possession of
the 248 meter (813.65 ft.) long vessel at the Japan Marine United
shipyard in Yokohama near , where it was docked next to its sister
ship the Izumo.

Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) latest Izumo-class helicopter
carrier, DDH-184 Kaga (R), is seen next to JMSDF’s helicopter carrier,
Izumo, in Yokohama, Japan, March 22, 2017, in this photo taken by Kyodo.
(Via Reuters)“China is attempting to make
changes in the South China Sea with bases and through acts that exert
pressure is altering the status quo, raising security concerns among the
international community,” Vice Minister of Defense Takayuki Kobayashi
said at the ceremony attend by about 500 people
Japan’s two
biggest warships since World War Two are potent symbols of Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to give the military a bigger international
role. They are designated as helicopter destroyers to keep within the
bounds of a war-renouncing constitution that forbids possession of
offensive weapons.
In its biggest show of naval power in foreign
waters in more than 70 years, Japan plans to dispatch the Izumo in May
on a three-month tour through the South China Sea, sources with
knowledge of the plan told Reuters earlier.
China claims almost
all the disputed waters through which around $5 trillion of global
sea-borne trade passes each year. Beijing’s growing military presence
there has fueled concern in Tokyo and Washington.
Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the
sea which has rich fishing grounds, oil and gas deposits. Japan has no
claims there, but is locked in another territorial dispute with China
over a group of islets in the neighboring East China Sea.
addition of the Kaga means Japan will be able to mount overseas
operations more often in the future. It will be based in Kure western
Japan, which was home to Japan’s most famous World War Two battleship,
the Yamato. The Izumo operates from Yokosuka near Tokyo, which is also
where of the US Seventh Fleet’s carrier, the Ronald Reagan, is based.
Japanese ships can operate up to nine helicopters each from their
decks. They resemble the amphibious assault carriers used by US Marines,
but lack their well deck for launching landing craft and other vessels.

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