Amid Talk of Regionalism, Japan Expands Naval Power

Amid Talk of Regionalism, Japan Expands Naval Power

When, upon being elected, Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama spoke of building fraternal seas and constructing a European Union-styled East Asian Community, critics denounced him as a naive peacenik. But Hatoyama’s low-profile Nov. 23 decision to commission a new DDH-22 helicopter destroyer — Japan’s largest military vessel since World War II — suggests he is actually striking a shrewd balance between promoting regionalism and protecting Japan’s regional and global interests through robust naval capabilities. The DDH-22 is officially designated as a “helicopter-carrying destroyer” by Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Forces (MSDF). But with its flush flight deck and large, starboard-side island […]

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