.... in the coffin of the post-war settlement, which, for some reason not unconnected with a lack of historical knowledge, so many people assumed to have been created for ever. Japan is no longer content to stay in the role allotted to it in the immediate post-1945 period. Alarmed by uncertainties over the US role in the world and the constant sabre-rattling by China, it is beginning to flex its own muscles.
Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.The ship is called Izumo which reminded a friend, knowledgeable in naval military history of the fact that "Izumo was also the name of the Imperial Navy cruiser that made a dash from San Francisco to Vancouver at the start of WWI to provide protection from the Germans, as the Royal Navy ships usually stationed there had been sent elsewhere".
The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 metres (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defence — particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions — and to bolster the nation's ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically. That would be a departure for Japan, which has one of the best equipped and best trained naval forces in the Pacific but which has not sought to build aircraft carriers of its own because of constitutional restrictions that limit its military forces to a defensive role.At present, Japan insists, it has neither the ability nor the desire to use the ship for that purpose. In future? Hard to tell though I have heard people say that it will not be long before the country will have nuclear capability. One can only hope that it will still be on our side though that seems probable with that continuous Chinese sabre-rattling.
For some time now I have been saying on this blog and elsewhere that the post-war order is crumbling and has been ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Let it crumble. After all, it was not such a good order. And let it carry the European Union, part of that structure with it.
What I find slightly intriguing and more than slightly annoying is the sight of so many "eurosceptics" who ought to be pleased with that development, hanging on to the shreds of what remains. It is notable in the constant references to some kind of a mythical German Empire or the Fourth Reich and, no doubt, we shall see lots of comments about modern Japan being no different from the militaristic one of the thirties and and early forties.
All that finished over sixty years ago and it is time we did away with the political structures that were created then. Logically speaking, if you are afraid of Germany even now, you should be in favour of the European Union.
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