U.S. to Ask Japan to Allow Naval Ships to Be Repaired in the Country

Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.

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What Happened:

The United States and Japan are attempting to make a deal for Japanese shipyards to be used to maintain and upgrade U.S. ships so that they can stay in the Asia-Pacific and be ready at a moment’s notice.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said that “China watches what ships are coming in and out. It is not like this is a secret, they know what’s happening. So therefore, they take an evaluation of your deterrence.”

The Details:

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to travel to the United States to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in April. During this time, they are expected to discuss a deal that would improve the efficiency and security of U.S. military operations in the Pacific. This deal is being made in the face of a growing and aggressive Chinese military in the region.

Currently, private Japanese companies have been repairing U.S. military vessels that do not engage in combat, according to a Japanese Defense Ministry source. The new deal would allow Japanese companies access to combat vessels and do full maintenance and overhauls on those specific ships.

Ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet would no longer have to return to the mainland U.S. to receive upgrades and repairs. This reduces the cost and shortens the periods where U.S. ships are not operating. It also increases the amount of coordination between the U.S. and Japanese militaries.

There are some concerns about job displacement in the U.S., but there have not been any details of the plan discussed at the time of writing.

What’s Next:

A deal like this would likely raise tensions with China and North Korea. The repair contract would allow ships to operate longer in the East China Sea, where China has made extensive territorial claims. China has been increasingly aggressive in the region, using airspace incursions and simulating attacks on Taiwan to intimidate the island.

The U.S. and its Pacific Allies have been increasing joint operations and security preparations, and it is assumed that this naval repair deal is a step in that direction. Deals like this are likely to become commonplace among U.S. allies in an attempt to curb Chinese aggression in the region.