Exclusive - Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea: sources | Reuters

By Nobuhiro Kubo | TOKYO TOKYO Japan plans to accelerate a warship building programme 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.

Reuters February 17, 2017 21:46:38 IST
Exclusive - Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea: sources
| Reuters

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

By Nobuhiro Kubo
| TOKYO

TOKYO Japan plans to accelerate a warship building programme 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 neighbouring South China Sea.BUILD-SHARING

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.($1 = 113.2600 yen) (Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.