I cannot stress enough how irritating this is to the Chinese, and how big a policy departure this is for Japan - let me explain.
When Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, that stopped the fighting, and allowed allied forces to occupy Japan. China was a signatory to the unconditional surrender as an allied nation.
On May 3, 1947, Japan ratified its constitution. Article 9 forbids offensive land, sea, or air forces.
On September 8, 1951 the Treaty of San Francisco and the Security Treaty between the US and Japan was signed. If the nation of Japan was attacked, the US agreed to defend Japan.
Japan maintained a self defense force, but had no offensive capability. Why is that relevant?
WW2 changed the naval calculus - to rule the Pacific Ocean, you needed aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers allow a nation to project air power anywhere on the globe. They are considered offensive weapons, because they allow one nation to force policy upon another non-neighbor nation through war.
At the peak of its strength, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) operated 15 fleet carriers. The IJN attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 with 5.
The Japanese military’s treatment of the Chinese was horrible, to say the least. Casualties were bad on both sides, the Chinese suffered 35 million casualties and the Japanese suffered 2.2-2.5 million casualties. War crimes and atrocities were carried out by Japan against the Chinese. China will never forget that. It’s like asking a Jew to forget what happened in Germany during the same time period - it’s not conceivable.
Today, the Japanese operate 4 ships known as “helicopter destroyers”. These ships have the appearance of an aircraft carrier but operate helicopters to support an Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission. They can also provide humanitarian aid in the event of a disaster.
In compliance with the Japanese constitution, these ships serve a self-defense or humanitarian mission.
USMC combat aircraft are now operating off of Japanese helicopter destroyers - allowing the USMC to increase the amount of aircraft they can field in the Pacific. These ships also allow the USMC to cover more square miles of ocean.
Japan is allowing another nation to use its ships to fight a war, and doing that is clearly forbidden by the Japanese constitution.
This is a geopolitical earthquake for the Pacific Region.
To the Chinese, America is teaming up with an old and hated enemy. And that enemy is now fielding offensive weapons platforms and assisting America to contain Chinese military ambitions.
This allows the USMC operate approximately 66 fighter aircraft - that’s the equivalent fighter air power of a US super carrier.
Thanks for the thread, appreciate the shout out.
Under Japanese occupation, the atrocities in China were plentiful. The horrific Nanjing Massacre; Black Sun 731 - cruel medical experiments on Chinese and Soviet prisoners for biological weapons research.
But I feel us Chinese moved on long ago. I even met my Grandpa's friend many years ago, a Japanese soldier who apparently brought milk for my dad and his brothers during the Singapore occupation.
"Examples include providing defensive support to US forces under attack in the vicinity of Japan, co-operating militarily with US forces to safeguard Japanese citizens at risk overseas, participating in minesweeping activities during a time of war, or deploying Japanese forces to protect access to energy supplies or critically important sea-lanes of communication vital to Japan's survival."
That’s very interesting cultural insight. I don’t have that, I’m not Chinese.
Thank you for sharing!
It's my personal take, can't speak for the other billion or so, but throughout our history, as a people the Chinese have lived under various occupation, some foreign. I grew up in Hong Kong when it was a British Colony.
I used to joke we just learnt another language. But I'd like to think we're resilient, enterprising, and pragmatic. In any case, nothing lasts forever.
Only thing I can add is that if you visit the twitter account of the Japan Maritime self-Defense Force, you will find many tweets, pics, and some video clips of the recent joint exercises they have been involved in. Last week, the nations partaking were Japan, US, UK, New Zealand, Netherlands, and Canada. There were four aircraft carriers involved. The images are quite stunning.
This week there are joint exercises between Japan and India.
When I was monitoring the withdrawal from Afghanistan, I caught several flights by Japanese self defense forces going in and out of the country. I had no idea Japan was involved in Afghanistan. Maybe they weren't but were helping with evac in some way.
Your thread is lines up well with some info I have been researching and presenting this week in a thread and on my Twitch streams.
Would it be okay with you if I used it in my show tomorrow morning?
JSDF gets around - usually with civil engineering, humanitarian relief, mine removal, search & rescue, anti-piracy, stuff like that.
Assisting with operating combat aircraft is something very different. You don’t do search and rescue with an F-35.
This is a major policy departure for the Japanese government and might be significant.
Feel free to use it on air.
Excellent. Thank you, sir.
I bet they were in Afghanistan giving aid right up until the end. I caught a couple flights in that last week of August.
I've been following these exercises the US has been doing to the North and South of Taiwan, plus the RC-135 and P8 flights out of Okinawa.
The US is very active in the region right now, that alone is a powerful deterrent against real aggression from CCP towards Taiwan. The Reagan, Carl Vinson plus ships from UK and other nations.
I worked on the LH 2 Saipan when it came in to the shipyard for an upgrade as part of the Navy SLEP (ship life extension program). Besides everything you mentioned , the Aft could open like a garage door, except fold down and unleash a small fleet of USMC amphibious vessels. or rescue vessels. An added function, LH's are dynamic and very likeable.
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