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Looking Forward to JS Shokaku

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Japanese aircraft carrier shokaku 1941.jpg
HIJMS Shokaku

My latest at the National Interest takes a look at what might come next for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force:

Japan is an exceedingly wealthy country with a large, robust, and technologically sophisticated shipbuilding industry. If it wants to supersede the Izumos with larger, more capable carriers then it can do so; the only obstacles are political.

The main questions are what such ships (which for the sake of convenience we will call “Shokaku” and “Zuikaku”) might look like. Japan is unlikely to order a large carrier from a foreign yard, and not just because very few countries can build such ships. Rather, Japan would want to develop and retain the expertise associated with the construction of large, modern aircraft carriers, a project that it has already begun with the Hyugas and Izumos.

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