Japan to deploy warships to South China Sea


MANILA, Philippines — The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) will dispatch three ships to the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, according to reports.

Helicopter carrier Kaga and two escort naval vessels of Japan will leave for the South China Sea on August 26 and will be sailing until October 30, United Press International reported.

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The Japanese fleet will first sail through the South China Sea, will pass through the Strait of Malacca and then will proceed to the Indian Ocean.

The three ships will make port calls in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a report from Japan Times.

Japan’s Defense Ministry is also working on joint drills with the navies of these countries.

The deployment of the 814-foot-long Kaga is seen as a Tokyo’s response to Beijing’s military presence in the South China Sea.

“The maritime area from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean is important [for Japan],” MSDF chief Adm. Yutaka Murakawa said in a press briefing Tuesday.

In 2017, Japan also deployed a similar fleet, including carrier Izumo, to the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Along with the United States, Japan has also been firm on its stand against China’s militarization activities in the disputed waters.

In a joint statement issued last April, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Ane and US President Donald Trump agreed that China and other claimant states should manage the maritime disputes in accordance with international law.