Japan detected a submarine believed to be Chinese off a southern Japanese island, the defense ministry said Sunday, heightening Japan’s caution levels in the East China Sea as China increases its military activities.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that it detected a submarine believed to belong to China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) navigating in the contiguous zone east of the island of Amami Oshima in southern Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture.
The MoD said in a statement that, although the submarine remained submerged, it believes that the boat is Chinese because a PLAN Luyang III (Type 052D)-class guided-missile destroyer was spotted navigating near the submarine.
The submarine remained submerged, but the ministry said in a statement that it believes the submarine is Chinese because a Chinese Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyer is near the submarine.
Japan says the two vessels are operating just outside its territorial waters off Amami Oshima, though Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times has accused Tokyo of a ‘publicity stunt’.
While the sub has not been sighted, its presence is given away by its acoustic signature, says expert, adding that China’s military may be probing areas where its forces ‘may, in the future, be involved in combat’
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force sent three reconnaissance aircraft and two destroyers to the area for early warning and information gathering to analyze China’s intentions.
A submarine believed to be Chinese also was spotted in the area in June 2020.
Assuming the Chinese stay with their current sub designs, American submarines should be capable of swiftly defeating Chinese boats in any potential future shooting war — helping clear the way for U.S. aircraft carriers to strike Chinese land targets. Combined with a slowdown in Chinese sub production, and the recent doubling of America’s submarine build rate, the noise revelation could lead to a radical recalculation of the Pacific balance of power.
The U.S. Navy had a comfortable technological lead over the PLAN even before the increased Chinese sub-activity fueled the recent intelligence coup. Now that lead has gotten even wider. And noisier.
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