China issues a mild-mannered warning to Japan after reports that Japan was considering arming their helicopter carriers with US Marine F-35 stealth fighters. The helicopter carriers have not been fully armed since World War II. Japan had considered arming the helicopter carriers with the stealth aircraft as a result of the influx in media attention on North Korea’s nuclear missile deployment and the expansion of China’s increasing Coast Guard activity near Japan owned islands.
The threat from China may have been a premature strike as Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera indicated no concrete plans have been made in an effort to refit the helicopter carrier.
Mr. Onodera said, “Regarding our defense posture, we are constantly conducting various examinations. But no concrete examination is underway on the introduction of F-35B or remodeling of Izumo-class destroyers.”
At one time it was asserted by several reputable sources that the refit was imminent as a preemptive measure in response to the increase in maritime movements of Chinese forces in the North China Sea. It was indicated that the preferred aircraft of choice for the rearming of the helicopter carrier was the F-35. This is due to the fact that they can take off and land vertically.
Recent months have seen Japanese forces in conjunction with the US military conducting various drills in efforts to perhaps deter North Korean threats. The tension between the countries in and around the region has since intensified as North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test.