In the balance of power between the major alliances of the world, the aircraft carriers are the primary surface asset of any navy. The USA has, as everyone knows, the world’s largest and most powerful fleet of aircraft carriers. Other nations have them as well, but none can rival the USA’s carrier forces. The UK, France, India, Russia and China have aircraft carriers, but China’s carrier (a remodeled Russian/Ukrainian carrier that was used as a floating casino for a time) is not yet operational. Another nation is quietly entering the select group of nations that operate carriers. That nation is Japan.

The first link and second link report that the first of two new “helicopter destroyers” is now undergoing sea-trials in preparation for deployment and another such carrier will follow it. Japan already has deployed a smaller class of such “helicopter destroyers.” As you look at the photos of Japan’s “helicopter destroyers,” it is obvious that they are “flat-tops” (i.e. aircraft carriers). Due to Japan’s pacifist, post WW-2 Constitution, Japan has to be careful about calling them what they actually are. However, Japan’s new carrier is not a “carrier” like the USA’s Nimitz-class carriers. It is smaller and ideally-suited for deploying helicopters. In this role, it is similar in size and function to a US Navy Amphibious Assault Carrier.  However, this new class of Japanese warship could deploy V/STOL warplanes in the future if necessary. I’d like to have an expert’s opinion of Japan’s below-deck designs to see if it has been built to be adapted in the future to handle V/STOL airplanes as well as helicopters. Does it have tie-downs, room for ordnance racks, etc. appropriate to V/STOL warplanes? Japan isn’t saying, and we do not know. I suspect the answer is “yes.” The fourth link reports that, just recently, Japan announced that it purchasing V-22 Osprey VTOL warplanes, and the link also includes a photo of a V-22 already being test-landed on the flight deck of Japan’s new carrier. Why would Japan flight-test the V-22 on the deck of this new carrier unless it was intended to be able to operate on it in the future? It is also reported in the links that Japan may also order a V/STOL variant of the new F-35 warplane being built in the USA. This new carrier does not carry much in the way of weaponry yet as it is only in its sea-trail phase. I’m sure additional offensive and defensive weaponry will be added in the future when the ship is actually deployed with the Japanese Navy. For balance, I’ve included the third link, which downplays the military role of this new Japanese carrier.

In my articles, Japan’s Role in Biblical Prophecy, and What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveals about a Future World War III, I identify Japan in Ezekiel 38-39’s very-detailed prophecy about the global alliances in the respective rival power blocs that will exist during the “latter days” of our current age. I identify Japan as being a part of a prophesied Pacific Rim alliance comprised of Japan, India, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and perhaps other nations such as Vietnam. All these Pacific nations are fearful of China’s rising militarism, and they are being pushed together by China’s aggressive policies. Previous posts have discussed this developing alliance as fulfilling Ezekiel 38:13. The role of carriers in the two global, rival alliances prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 bears comment. The Gog-Magog alliance is mainly a land alliance as its members (Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Mongolia, the “-stan” nations of Central Asia, etc. are all linked in the same contiguous land-mass. Their military forces can consolidate and deploy together without needing aircraft carriers. The navies of these nations are largely secondary to the army forces of these nations. Their navies are needed to defend their coastlines, attack and fight off enemy carrier forces, etc., but their navies are not central to this alliance. However, the nations of the Western alliance (led by the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel) comprising the USA, the UK, France and other NATO nations, India, Japan, the Pacific Rim nations fearful of China, etc. are linked together by the oceans. These nations need strong maritime forces to link them together, and aircraft carriers and naval battle groups are very important to them. Without aircraft carriers and strong naval fleets, these nations are vulnerable as an alliance. Personally, I think China’s new carrier is mostly being built “for show.” China has the resources to build a large fleet of carriers if they wanted to do so, but they have chosen not to build them. It is my viewpoint that China has made a decision that is far more economical to build military weaponry to destroy aircraft carriers than it is to build carriers and defend their enormous bulk. That is why China has built submarines, supersonic cruise missiles, ballistic missiles that can target aircraft carriers, etc. These weapons systems have been built to sink aircraft carriers and all major surface ships. Those nations building aircraft carriers need to deploy them with a large number of screening vessels with lots of defensive weaponry because the carriers will be prime targets when the global war prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 takes place.