Home » Budget Industry » Shinzo Abe First Sitting Japanese Prime Minister to Visit U.S. Aircraft Carrier


Shinzo Abe First Sitting Japanese Prime Minister to Visit U.S. Aircraft Carrier

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, listens as Capt. Christopher Bolt, left, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Oct. 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, listens as Capt. Christopher Bolt, left, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Oct. 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

Shinzo Abe became the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit a U.S. aircraft carrier when his helicopter landed onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Sunday.

The visit follows passage of legislation that modifies Japan’s defense posture to allow the Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) to come to the aid of an ally under fire — a significant departure from the country’s post-World War II pacifist constitution.

Japan’s controversial new brand of “proactive pacifism” is rooted into the expansion of Chinese military power and overseas ambitions and the unpredictability of North Korea.

“By highly hoisting the flag of ‘proactive pacifism,’ I’m determined to contribute more than ever to world peace and prosperity,” Abe said according to The Japan Times.

In addition to the legislative changes, Japan is also on a defense acquisition drive that will position the JSDF to better interact with the U.S. Navy emerging networked warfighting concept.

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118) sail alongside the Indian Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A-57) on Oct. 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118) sail alongside the Indian Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A-57) on Oct. 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

Abe’s tour followed shortly after an international feet review with ships from Japan, France, India, Australia, South Korea and the United States, according to Stars and Stripes.

While onboard, Abe was shown around the carrier by U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson.

Prior to visit, Stars and Stripes reported an E-2C Hawkeye had caught fire but no one was injured.

“The cause of the fire aboard the aircraft, assigned to the VAW-115 Liberty Bells squadron, is under investigation,” reported Stars and Stripes.
“Damage assessments were continuing as of Sunday evening.”

Reagan arrived in Japan on Oct. 1 as part of U.S. 7th Fleet’s forward deployed carrier, replacing USS George Washington (CVN-73).

  • John B. Morgen

    Japan’s prime minister visit on board the USS Ronald Reagan could be a prelude of the JMSDF constructing larger CVs than just building helicopter aircraft carriers. The United States should sale the USS America to jump start Japan’s new carrier fleet. Or the United States should build larger CVs; although, Japan is quite capable of building such large warships because Japan’s history of building super tankers during the Cold War era.

    • Michael Rich

      No, it’s not. Just because a foreign official visits a US carrier does not mean they are looking to build their own.

      • Secundius

        @ Michael Rich.

        Agreed! If Japan, does ever build an Aircraft Carrier. It’s probably going to be a Light Aircraft Carrier. But it also depends if Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, gets the “Green Light” to License Produce the F/A-35 JSF and the MV-22 Osprey’s…

        • muzzleloader

          If the Japanese do ever follow through on acquiring the F-35 and Osprey’s , then their current and growing new fleet of helicopter carriers would serve very well as light carriers.

          • Secundius

            @ muzzleloader.

            They they better plan on installing a Ski-Jump Ramp on the Bow. Maximum Take-Off Role for the F/AV-35B without a Ski-Jump Ramp is 843’09”. With Ski-Jump Ramp, just 450’…

          • muzzleloader

            Unless they went with the VTOL version…

          • Secundius

            @ muzzleloader.

            Those ARE for the F/AV-35B’s, Sir. The Flight Deck of the Japanese Helicopter Carrier, is ~646-feet in length…

          • John B. Morgen

            Or something like the new British Royal Navy’s CVs.

      • John B. Morgen

        Michael Rich: you are so cocksure about your statement? I said it…”could be a prelude of the JMSDF constructing larger CVs than just building helicopter aircraft carriers.” The fact is and that is the prime minister made an official visit on board one of our major aircraft carriers for the first time. This event is quite a historical importance because it could be a profound signal for major changes in Japan’s policies; concerning about the advent use of aircraft carriers since 1945.

        • Secundius

          @ John B. Morgen.

          Because of the Canadian’s Dropping Out of the F-35 JSF Program. Price’s are going to Increase by at least $1-Million USD/Aircraft. Which “Might” mean the UK might have to sell the Prince of Wales, Medium Aircraft Carrier. Which Japan “MIGHT” buy, But I wouldn’t “Hold My Breath” on that Purchase anytime Soon if EVER. WE, the (USA) might windup Having to Buy It, Instead…

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States just might step in and adsorb the additional costs of the F-35B, just to assured the continuation of the Royal Navy’s carrier program. Therefore, the Royal Navy wouldn’t have to sale any of its Queen Elizabeth class CVs. The United States Navy needs the Royal Navy to deploy these two CVs, in order to reduce the burden that our CVB(N)s are being use to support our international commitments.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Good, good, good.

  • Secundius

    Canada, is opting out of the F-35 JSF Program, TOO…

    • Scooter2000

      What do you mean too???