Tokyo: The unilateral Chinese activities in the East China Sea, South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean are adding to the concerns of Japan. Japan has adopted an aggressive policy and has indicated deployment of fighter jets on its aircraft carrier. The Japanese government has approved transformation of the existing helicopter carrier class ship in the navy to an aircraft carrier for this purpose.
After the Second World War, the United States and allies had imposed restrictions on Japan. According to these restrictions the Japanese defence policy had to be defensive, and Japan could spend only 1% of the GDP on defence forces. Although Japan had adopted a defensive defence policy for the last eight decades, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has changed this policy during his tenure. As per the change, the expenditure on defence has been increased consistently and at present Japan in one of the top 10 countries in defence expenditure.
In line with these policy changes, Japan has made preparations to buy 100 super advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States. The Japanese defence officials recently clarified that only the most advanced edition of the F-35s in service with the US air force would be purchased. Japan had asked for 42 F-35As from the United States. Following this, recent discussions regarding the F-35Bs have also started, and the United States has reacted positively.
It is being said that the most advanced and modern fighter jets will be deployed on the Izumo class helicopter carrier. Japan has indicated making significant changes to the Izumo class helicopter-carrier to deploy these fighter jets. The Japanese government has started preparations to modify DDH-183, which is one of the three operational Izumo Class warships, into an aircraft carrier.
As per the Japanese constitution, Japan cannot possess an Attack Aircraft Carrier. Therefore, the via media of converting an original helicopter-carrier into an aircraft carrier has been adopted. Sources have indicated that the discussions regarding cooperation with the United States have already been completed. The Japanese Izumo class helicopter-carrier is 248 metres long and can carry 14 helicopters. The F35A stealth fighter jets have been developed for vertical take-off, and the F-35B have been developed for a short airstrip take-off.