President Donald Trump who inspected the helicopter Carrier, Kaga which is planned to be modified to house the F-35B Stealth fighters, has Chinese experts claiming that the move indicates his acquiescence of Japan's military ambitions and may trigger a new arms race.
Accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump inspected the Kaga at the Maritime Self-Defense Force base in Yokosuka on Tuesday as part of his visit to Japan, the first time a US president has stepped aboard a Self-Defense Force ship, Japan's Kyodo News reported.
Ni Feng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times that the inspection shows that Trump wants its allies to shoulder greater military responsibility which encourages Abe's pursuit of military power.
Trump underscored Japan’s plan of buying over 105 F-35B fighter jets which together with the conversion of the Kaga, an Izumi-class helicopter destroyer into an aircraft carrier; would give a military edge over China.
Chinese analysts noted that the helicopter destroyer Trump inspected is controversial even in Japan, as the country is not allowed to possess weapons that could be used to attack other countries after its defeat in World War II.
Kaga, an Izumo-class helicopter destroyer, is expected to be refurbished and function as an aircraft carrier capable of carrying F-35B stealth fighters. The conversion is already underway according to some reports.
Post- World War II, the US did not allow Japan to have any kind of long-range delivery and strike capability, but Trump position on allowing Japan to re-arm would change the balance of power in Asia, the Chinese experts feel triggering an arms race between China and North Korea on one hand and Japan and the US on the other.