Japan Deploys Izumo Warship to Protect U.S. Vessel After North Korea Threats to Turn it Into 'Ghost'
Japan has reportedly deployed a helicopter carrier and authorized it to use weapons, if necessary, to escort and protect a US supply vessel. The mission, performed under the country’s expanded military doctrine, marks the first such mission since WWII.
Defense Minister Tomomi Inada ordered the Izumo Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier to protect a US Navy supply ship, which is heading towards the Pacific to resupply the American armada sent by Donald Trump to keep North Korean nuclear ambitions at bay, sources told Kyodo news.
The Japanese helicopter carrier is set to depart Yokosuka port in Kanagawa Prefecture to Monday to escort the US Navy supply ship from waters off the Boso Peninsula, near Tokyo, to the area off Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan.
Japanese media reports that the US ship could be delivering supplies to the aircraft carrier – the USS Carl Vinson striking group, that is now conducting a joint exercise with South Korea’s navy in the Sea of Japan.
To ensure success of their escort mission, the Japanese seamen have been authorized the “minimum necessary use of weapons,” to deter any attacks amid North Korean threats to sink US ships, the Japan Times reports.
It has not been specified if this is a one-time mission and how many American ships Izumo will protect.
Read more: https://www.rt.com/news/386694-japan-warship-escort-us-vessel/