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America and Japan Have a Plan to Kill China’s Submarines in a War

China Submarines
Image: Creative Commons.

The United States and Japan Step Up Cooperation in the Pacific: Submarines will be of crucial importance in a hypothetical maritime conflict — as will hunting them.

The United States and Japan are practicing anti-submarine warfare during exercises to change China’s calculus in the South China Sea.

“JS KAGA, JS MURASAME, the JMSDF submarine, and P-1, conducted a bilateral exercise with USS MILIUS and P-8A,” a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces said on Twitter, adding that “this is the first time for the JMSDF submarine to conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise with the US Navy in the South China Sea.”

Maritime Expansion

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces are in the throes of an unprecedented expansion to become a more flexible, lethal force despite constitutional restrictions on Japan’s military forces.

Japan’s Kaga helicopter destroyer recently underwent a conversion that raised eyebrows across the Pacific region, and in particular in China. Though nominally a helicopter destroyer, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces modified the ship’s flight deck, strengthening and modifying the surface to accommodate F-35B airplanes.

Analysts noted that the ship is the largest Japanese warship since the Second World War. While the United States Marine Corps will operate their F-35Bs until Japan takes delivery of their fighters, Japan will soon have what are in effect a pair of aircraft carriers.

One of the United States’ two submarine tenders — auxiliary ships that support submarines at sea and carry all manner of supplies including food, ammunition recently arrived at Yokohama, marking the ship’s first visit to Japan.

The recent flurry of Japanese-American military cooperation in the Pacific comes on the heels of recent Russo-Chinese naval exercises in the Pacific. Late last month, a flotilla of Chinese and Russian vessels said through a strait separated the Japanese mainland from its northern islands, and in a quirk of geography, through international waters.

The Pacific

It’s not just Japan that the United States Navy is exercising with. United States Navy ships also partnered with Brunei during a recent maritime exercise. American assets during the event include “Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) with embarked MH-60S from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft as well as Sailors from Special Operations Command Pacific, Naval Special Warfare command, Special Boat Team and U.S. Coast Guard.”

The exercise focus was “ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific maritime security environment.”

What Next? 

American submarine capabilities in the Pacific are essential, reflected in both the recent US Navy-Japan anti-submarine warfare exercises with Japan as well as in the recent tripartite AUKUS agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Moreover, in the event of a conflict in the Pacific, submarines will be a crucial part of naval power.

Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and Defense Writer. He lives in Berlin and covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.



  1. Spell Checker

    November 18, 2021 at 2:04 am

    Please do a grammar check BEFORE you publish your articles…

  2. John Hinman

    November 19, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Japan should now amend it’s constitution to allow it to expand it’s military to be allies with America. With China focused on building a super power military that can make them superior to Americas, it will be important for the U.S. to have allies they can rely on if China thinks of invading Taiwan. A strong United ally force will be a deterrent to China aggression.
    We can’t count on England or European countries anymore.
    Australia is a force but either way China is becoming a problem and the world can’t afford to have them spreading communism

  3. truthalwayswinsout

    November 19, 2021 at 6:38 am

    I have a real simple rule for defense alliances. If the country we ally with cannot spend more than 4% of their GDP and field a competent military there is no reason to have them as an ally.

    Look at NATO. They are supposed to spend 3% and when questioned about doing so they throw hissy fits.

    Time to stop being the sucker in the room.

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