Japan’s largest warship to train with US Navy

(CNN)Japan’s largest warship will set sail this summer to train with naval ships from the United States and India as part of the annual “Malabar” joint exercise, a Pentagon official told CNN on Monday.

The addition of the Izumo helicopter carrier, which specializes primarily in anti-submarine missions, marks a rare show of naval force from Japan amid growing tensions across Asia and highlights the Trump administration’s intention to maintain a cooperative military presence in the region.

Why

Despite plans for the Izumo to train with US ships as part of Malabar, the US Navy declined to comment on whether the Japanese vessel would be deployed to the contentious South China Sea.
“The US Navy does not comment on Japanese Navy movements,” a Navy official said.
The Japanese government did not respond to a request for comment.
Japan does not have any claim over the disputed waters, but China’s growing military presence has fueled concerns in Tokyo and prompted a pledge to increase patrol and training activities in the area.
The South China Sea dispute will likely be discussed during Tillerson’s trip to Asia this week and when Xi visits Trump in Florida.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/13/politics/japan-izumo-warship-us-joint-naval-exercise/index.html