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Japan to fit-out first aircraft carriers since Second World War

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Staff Writer | Wednesday December 19, 2018 5:46AM ET
Izumo-class warships
Asia   Izumo-class warships

Japan will launch its first aircraft carriers since the Second World War as part of a record $242bn defence plan, the nation's government announced.


Two refitted Izumo-class warships will be equipped to carry US-designed F-35B stealth fighter jets, of which the country will purchase 42 as part of its 10-year defence program guidelines, which listed the military might of China, North Korea, and Russia as concerns.

Since entering service three years ago, the two ships in question had solely been carrying helicopters designed for anti-submarine warfare.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "Under the drastically changing security environment around Japan, the government will take all possible measures to protect the lives and assets of Japanese people. The review of the new defence guideline is extremely meaningful to show the Japanese people and the world what is truly necessary in our defence to protect the people."

The move comes after the Japanese army raised concerns about the "rapid modernisation" of China's People's Liberation Army in an August white paper, while also highlighting security concerns arising from China's "unilateral escalation of activities in areas close to Japan."

 

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