Japanese ruling party's team working on revising the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) have decided to re-designate ‘Izumo’ aircraft carrier as a 'Multi-purpose Operation Destroyer' during a meeting held on December 5.
Japan is not allowed to operate an attack aircraft and the nation should be limited to maintain necessary self-defense capabilities, according to the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution. Calling ‘Izumo’ an aircraft carrier will thus, violate the pacifist Constitution.
The Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) proposal for NDPG compiled in May features a term of “multi-purpose operation mother ship.” However, Komeito frowned on the idea, saying that the expression of “bokan" (mother ship) conjures up the image of “kubo" (aircraft carrier), Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday.
Both parties finally agreed on calling the Izumo-class destroyer a “multi-purpose operation destroyer,” according to participants at the meeting.
“The LDP and Komeito shared a common view of enabling the carrier to be used for multi-purpose operations within the scope of recognizing the vessel as a destroyer,” Asahi quoted Itsunori Onodera, a former defense minister as saying Thursday.
The 248-meter-long vessel would be reliant on its complement of F-35Bs. The two parties also shared their views and opinions over the need to introduce 100 or so F-35s in the future during the meeting.
Defense Ministry officials also revealed its plan of thickening the decks of two Izumo-class destroyers, which carry helicopters, and making other adjustments so that F-35Bs can be launched from there, according to a source who attended the meeting, the Asahi Shimbun report further said.