As reported by Reuters news agency today, Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force will send their Izumo helicopter carrier through the South China sea. Considered one of the world’s most powerful navies in World War Two, Japan’s fleet operates as a defensive force since the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Navy. As China increases its military presence in the disputed South China Sea, the United States has maintained regular patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo is the largest ship in the Japanese fleet and is scheduled to set sail from Japan in May. She will put into port at Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. In July the carrier will join the Malabar naval exercise with Indian and U.S. fleets in the Indian Ocean.
Reuters story found here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-navy-southchinasea-exclusive-idUSKBN16K0UP?il=0