The ostensible reason behind the move is training with Indonesian navy, but move likely to irritate China.
For first time, Japan will send Ise destroyer into the South China Sea
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) officially announced plans on Apr. 5 to send its Ise destroyer into the South China Sea.
The large helicopter-destroyer – actually a light aircraft carrier – is equipped with powerful anti-submarine patrol capabilities. While the ostensible purpose is participation in humanitarian training exercises led by the Indonesian Navy, the move also stands to provoke China, which has been on edge recently over US-Japan alliance pressures concerning the South China Sea.
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