Exclusive: Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea – sources

By Nobuhiro Kubo | TOKYO Fri Feb 17, 2017 | 6:25am EST

Japan plans to accelerate a warship building program to make two frigates a year to patrol the fringes of the East China Sea, where it disputes island ownership with China, three people with knowledge of the plan said.

Japan previously was building one 5,000-ton class destroyer a year, but will now make two 3,000-ton class ships a year, beginning from the April 2018 fiscal year, the people said, declining to be identified as they are not authorized to talk to the media.
It aims to produce a fleet of eight of the new class of smaller, cheaper vessels, which may also have mine-sweeping and anti-submarine capability.

Naval shipyard operators including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United Corp (JMU) and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding are expected to bid for the work, the people said.

Japan and China dispute ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea, about 220 km (140 miles) northeast of Taiwan. In Japan, they are known as the Senkakus, while China calls them the Diaoyu islands.

Senior Japanese military officials have said they are concerned that China may seek to increase its influence in the East China Sea around Japan’s southern Okinawa island chain. Japan provides military aid to Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines and Vietnam that oppose China’s territorial claims in the neighboring South China Sea.


In a departure from normal procurement practice, Japan’s Ministry of Defense said in a report published on Wednesday it will require the winner of the – eight frigate – contract to offer major portions of the build to other bidders.

The change is meant to ensure naval shipyards remain open.

In the past two years, JMU has won contracts to build the larger Aegis-equipped destroyers, raising some concern among defense ministry officials that rivals could shutter their shipyards, one of the sources said.

“We need to ensure our ability to build naval vessels at home,” the person said.

The new ships will cost 40-50 billion yen ($353-$443 million) each, another of the sources said.

(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea – sources”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


2 Comments on “Exclusive: Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea – sources”

  1. Assassin says:

    The Trump Administration expect Japan to be a mi,itary check on China.

    Japan? The world war II butcher who massacred more than 20 million unarmed civilian Chinese?

    If so, rest assure nothing would arouse the Chinese and Koreans more to a fight to finish off Japan once and for all.

    Will Japanese once again be dragged into a devastating war by the neocon war mongers governing the country? Does not look like it as the Japanese electorate seems to support Shinzo “militant grandson of a wartime criminal” Abe in the Japanese elections. Certainly looks like a case of a leopard that cannot change it spots.

    In other words, the re-arming of Japan means a re-arming of China and Korea; An Asian arms race. For sure Beijing will ensure its armed forces budget will be 7 times Tokyo’s. Which can only bankrupt Japan if it continues with this illogical direction.

    But lest we forget, the elephant in the room is India. Now this country is filled with irrational poisonous malice, hatred and aggression against China. It’s behaviour remains that of a murderous village thug. Sooner or later it is going to do something crazy. My money on an unforgiving no-nonsense Beijing wiping India off the map in retaliation with nuclear tipped missiles. This India and New Delhi have no sense of reality and balance of their weak power position vis-a-vis a powerful China; Brainwashed utterly as they are by American propaganda; Amidst their own unreal visions of grandeur and greatness.

    A war with India before Japan.


  2. Joseph says:

    Well done, hope they can scrap the money from their piggy bank. That’s if the American does not grab it from their hand first. At least the Japs are going to do something fast this time. That 5000t class destroyer took 3 years to complete. Smaller vessel doesn’t really make it faster to build. Ironic that when Chinese ships are getting bigger and bigger, Jap ships are getting smaller and smaller. Not too long ago, countering formidable navy with cheaper and smaller ships is the doctrine of Chinese and Iranian navies. Now that Chinese Navy is getting formidable, Japs and American navies are, ironically, adopting this obsolete doctrine. If this keep going, we will soon see American navy tries to counter Iranian huge destroyers with the swarm of cheap fast-attack boat on the Persian Gulf.