AEGIS, Tomahawk, and F35B: Japan's triple-threat naval strategy against China
One of Japan's primary focus has been on enhancing its missile defense capabilities. Building upon its existing capabilities, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) plans to increase the number of Aegis destroyers (DDG) from the current eight to ten as part of the Defense Buildup Program. These advanced warships equipped with the Aegis combat system play a crucial role in Japan's missile defense capabilities and contribute significantly to regional security.
In addition, Japan has recently announced plans to purchase 400 Tomahawk missiles, making it the third nation to possess these long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missiles. This move is aimed at strengthening Japan's deterrence against potential adversaries and enhancing its strategic edge in the region.
Furthermore, Japan has also been bolstering its underwater defense capabilities. With the recent addition of the Hakugei, the second vessel of the cutting-edge Taigei-class diesel-electric submarines, Japan now possesses some of the most advanced submarines equipped with superior stealth technology. These submarines play a vital role in maintaining Japan's strategic edge in the region.
In a move to enhance its aerial defense capabilities, the Japanese government has also decided to modify the Izumo-class DDH (helicopter-carrying destroyer), enabling it to accommodateF-35B fighter jets. The first ship, the Izumo, completed its initial modification in 2021 and successfully conducted landing and takeoff tests with the US Marine Corps' F-35B. The second ship, Kaga, is also undergoing conversion, further solidifying Japan's commitment to a modern and versatile military force.
Japan's efforts to modernize and upgrade its defense capabilities come at a time of increasing regional tensions and security threats. While Japan has maintained a pacifist stance since the end of World War II, the country is now facing a rapidly changing security environment, necessitating its need to strengthen its defense capabilities. By investing in advanced defense technologies and capabilities, Japan aims to ensure that it can safeguard its national security interests and maintain stability in the region.