Sunday saw the Japanese Navy celebrate its 60th anniversary with the equivalent of an ocean-based military parade featuring around 40 of the country’s ships. The exercise, held in waters south of Tokyo, was clearly intended to be a display of maritime strength as the dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, while calmer, still continues. Japan’s destroyers, submarines, and hovercraft were joined by warships from the U.S., Singapore, and Australia as part of the joint-event.
The representatives of more than 20 countries, including China, were present for the parade on Sunday. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stated that the country was currently facing “severe” challenges to its maritime security, and while he didn’t mention China specifically, it was more than obvious that was who he was pointing his finger at. While the growing military strength of China has been a concern to Japan, and other Asian nations, the repeated instances of Chinese patrol ships in the waters near the territorial islands over the last few weeks has the government of Tokyo more alarmed than usual.
The Japanese sailor present that day were advised by Prime Minister Noda to be ready for “new responsibilities” as the country’s security situation changes. The naval exercise is held every three years, but as this was the 60th anniversary, they pulled out all the stops. The Japan Coast Guard was planned to participate in the event, but it was felt that all of its ships’ resources were needed at the disputed islands.[via Calgary Herald]