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PostJapan Unveils Largest Warship since WWII (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 08/09/13 4:34 am)
This is what I have entered on my Facebook. Here we have a game changer.
Crisis in the South China Seas: "In the red corner, wearing red trunks, shoes and gloves...China! And in the other corner, the Comeback Kid of the Century, Japan!"
(And in the middle, the Philippines' oil, gas and mineral-rich Spraltys, in a winner-take-all bout!)
According to the US EIA (Energy Information Administration), the real wealth of the area may well be natural gas reserves. Estimates say the area holds about 900 trillion cubic feet. (25 trillion cubic meters)--the same as the proven reserves of Qatar.
The area is also one of the region's main shipping lanes, and is home to a fishing ground that supplies the livelihoods of thousands of people.
Now this is a game changer.
See: Japan unveils largest warship since World War II
Eric Talmadge, Associated Press, August 6, 2013
(Excerpt): Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.
The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense--particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions--and to bolster the nation's ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Though the ship--dubbed "Izumo"--has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China.
JE comments: The Izumo does look like an aircraft carrier in 2/3 scale, and it suggests that Japan has abandoned its "defense-only" military policy in everything but name. Given China's move to acquire aircraft carriers, might we be at the dawn of a new naval race in Asia?
Here's an image I found of the new "destroyer"; judge for yourselves: