PM Japan Highlights Efforts Acquisition JS Taigei (SS513) Nuclear Submarine to Improve National Defense

PM Japan Highlights Efforts Acquisition JS Taigei (SS513) Nuclear Submarine to Improve National Defense
PM Japan Highlights Efforts Acquisition JS Taigei (SS513) Nuclear Submarine to Improve National Defense

International Military - On Sunday, June 19, 2022, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took a cautious view of acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. The nuclear-powered submarine is used to increase the country's defense capabilities.

Kishida said caution was due to calls made by some opposition parties ahead of next month's upper house election. "I'm not really sure if making the jump to nuclear submarines is a good idea," Kishida said during an appearance on a Fuji TV program with other party leaders.

He cited the difficulties of using nuclear power for military purposes under Japan's atomic energy laws and the high operating costs. But Kishida, who heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stressed the need to strengthen Japan's defenses at a time when Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's military assertiveness have highlighted Japan's security challenges. "We will see what needs to be prioritized to protect people's lives and livelihoods," he said.

The head of Komeito's LDP junior coalition partner, Natsuo Yamaguchi, echoed Kishida's views, calling the idea of ​​a nuclear-powered submarine "unrealistic". Ichiro Matsui, leader of the Japan Innovation Party, and Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the Democratic Party for the People, called for the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines to enhance deterrence and reconnaissance capabilities. "(Japan) should have advanced (submarine) types to increase deterrence," Matsui said.

While Tamaki emphasized the advantages of nuclear submarines' ability to stay underwater for months to increase surveillance and reconnaissance operations. Japan is committed to an exclusively defense-oriented policy under its pacifist Constitution, and its defense spending has been limited to about 1 percent of gross domestic product.

Japan's main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party leader Kenta Izumi opposes the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines, saying the country's defense "will not become stronger just because some luxury equipment is added."

Previously, it was reported that Japan had added to its military fleet for its country's Navy. Recently, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned the first Taigei-class diesel-powered attack submarine (SSK).

For the first time, Taigei-class submarines will be equipped with the capability to attack enemy bases. The submarine, named JS Taigei (SS513), was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and will operate from Yokosuka Naval Base and serve the Escort 4 Division of Escort Flotilla 2.

With a crew of 70, the JS Taigei submarine, which was built at a cost of US$690 million, is 84 meters long and weighs 3,000 tons, will be equipped with weapons systems that will intimidate adversaries such as China and Russia, which have territorial disputes with Tokyo.

Quoted from Defense Security Asia, the Taigei-class submarines will be powered by a 6,000 horsepower diesel engine. But at the same time it is also equipped with a lithium-ion battery instead of lead-acid to allow it to last longer and calmer at sea.

With its technology, Japanese submarines are indeed recognized as one of the quietest submarines in the world, making it difficult for the enemy to track their position.

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