Japan just dispatched Izumo, its biggest helicopter carrier to protect a US supply ship from a possible attack from North Korea’s missiles. The US supply ship is alleged to pertain to the USS Carl Vinson strike group and the Japanese vessel deployment marks a premiere for the country, i.e. the first time when Japan uses its military force for carrying out non-self defense actions.
Truth be told, the probability of North Korea attacking a US supply ship is very close to zero, as such an unprovoked initiation of force against a foreign country would break international law and North Korea’s horrible communist dictatorship would lose any kind of legitimacy, provided it still has some left on the international scene.
Japan’s deployment of the Izumo in a “bodyguard” type of mission comes as the Pyongyang regime is threatening with its sixth nuclear test which may happen at any time.
The Izumo is a 800 feet long helicopter carrier and it left its home port located south of Tokyo (Yokosuka respectively) for escorting the US supply ship to the waters off Shikoku, which translates roughly into 400 nautical miles away of southern Japan.
The Izumo helicopter carrier is the biggest vessel constructed by Japan since the end of World War 2. Also, the country’s pacifist constitution forbids Japan’s military from engaging in any type of military action that is not explicitly in self-defense, hence today’s action is very significant from a certain point of view.
However, Japan expanded the constitutional definition of self defense last year, in order to include the protection of its allies, in this case the United States and also it allows Japan to provide logistical support in matters important for its national security.
The Izumo is authorized to use what has been called minimal firepower for protecting the US supply vessel while North Korea is continuing its long range missile testing, despite the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson strike group presence in the Korean Peninsula. Other 2 US aircraft carriers are expected to join the party soon, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz.