Breaking News (Oct 17, 2020) – Japan Sends 3 Warships to the Philippine sea

The Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) sent three warships to the West Philippine Sea to conduct anti-submarine exercises.

According to a statement released by the Japanese defense ministry, the JDSF sent three vessels including an aircraft carrier and a helicopter “to boost their tactical capability.” The warships will make a stop at Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay to resupply.

This development is intriguing in several ways. First, it is one of the very rare instances, if not the only one in several decades, that Japan has embarked on a solo mission outside its territorial waters. Second, the move is a very clear announcement that Japan has no intention of sitting out the tensions in the South China Sea. For many decades since its defeat in World War II, Japan has taken a generally defensive stance on military affairs. That has a lot to do with its pacifist Constitution, which prohibits the government from building up its military beyond what is needed for the country’s defense.

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