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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 29 - June 4  > Abe and Trump inspect SDF warship to put on public display strong Japan-US military alliance
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2019 May 29 - June 4 [POLITICS]

Abe and Trump inspect SDF warship to put on public display strong Japan-US military alliance

May 29, 2019
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and U.S. President Donald Trump on May 28 visited the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Yokosuka Base (Kanagawa Prefecture) to inspect the MSDF escort vessel “Kaga” capable of carrying helicopters. This was obviously a demonstration of how strong the Japan-U.S. alliance is and how Japan is ready for combat operations.

Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to come on board an SDF ship.

Abe and Trump gave speeches before 500 Japanese and U.S. troops. Abe expressed his intention to upgrade “Kaga” and other “Izumo”-class SDF warships to aircraft carriers to station U.S.-made F-35B stealth fighters on those vessels. Trump in his speech praised the Abe government’s plan to purchase 105 F-35s from the U.S. Their speeches sounded like glowing remarks made following arms trade negotiations.

Meanwhile, near the MSDF Yokosuka base, peace organizations, women’s groups, trade unions, and the Japanese Communist Party in Kanagawa staged a protest. Sumiya Kazunori, who heads the Kanagawa local of the national Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), criticized PM Abe for his intent to purchase a large number of F-35 fighters, which costs 11.6 billion yen each. He stressed that with 11.6 billion yen, the government can dramatically improve welfare and education programs, and urged the Abe government to spend less on weapons and more on measures to support people’s livelihoods.

Shiiba Kazuyuki, JCP candidate for the House of Councilor election, said that the Abe government disregards the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution by attaching excessive importance to the Japan-U.S. military alliance and pouring a large amount of taxpayers’ money into defense spending. He said that he will work hard to win a JCP advance in the coming election in order to create a new government that represents the public interest.

JCP member of the Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly Isaka Shinya pointed out that the demonstration of a stronger than ever military alliance by the leaders of Japan and the U.S. at the SDF Yokosuka base is unacceptable as it will send out the message that the city of Yokosuka plays an important role in the military integration of the SDF with the U.S. military.

Past related article:
> Abe gov’t to allow SDF to possess aircraft carrier in violation of the Constitution [December 12, 2018]
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