CIA chief visits South Korea amid heightened tension

04 May, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Japan Warship

According to Japan's constitution, written under American occupation after the end of the Second World War, the Japanese government may only use force in self-defense - a limitation enshrined in the name of the "Japan Self-Defense Forces".

The helicopter carrier Izumo departed the Yokosuka port near Tokyo earlier Monday.

Japan's defence ministry only said that the Izumo left on Monday to eventually participate in an global naval event in Singapore on May 15.

The supply ship is likely to provide fuel to other US vessels deployed in the Sea of Japan, including those working in concert with a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier sent to the region amid heightened tensions over North Korea. It will depart from Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, to join the USA ship, and protect it on its journey to the sea off Shikoku in western Japan.

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A possible missile strike and what to do about it have dominated TV talk shows and other media in Japan in recent weeks as regional tension has spiked, with the North Korean regime continuing to test-fire rockets and President Donald Trump sending an aircraft carrier to nearby waters in a show of force.

The protection mission can be conducted in various situations, including when the two countries are engaged in joint exercises or monitoring and information-gathering activities related to North Korean missile launches. The Izumo started to escort the US supply ship after the two vessels met up in the waters off the Boso Peninsula, south of Tokyo, later in the day.

"Japan has renounced war, but it seems we are gradually getting embroiled into a conflict", she said. Vinson was redeployed from regularly scheduled exercises in the Indian Ocean in order to deter North Korea from conducting further nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.

Critics question whether the United States and Seoul's caretaker government are rushing to set up THAAD before an election May 9 that will bring a change in the government in Seoul, which became necessary after Park Geun-hye was impeached and ousted from the presidency in a corruption scandal. But the troops are leaving the African country in stages without actually engaging in the new roles as the Japanese government decided in March to withdraw the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops.

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