When Is an Aircraft Carrier Not an Aircraft Carrier?

Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces helicopter destroyer Izumo

When Is an Aircraft Carrier Not an Aircraft Carrier?

Japan’s ‘mother ship’ is a symbol of its militarization—in everything but in name.

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya announced on November 27 that Japan intends to adapt its self-defense destroyer Izumo into an aircraft carrier, saying, “It’s desirable that the Izumo can be used for multiple purposes as much as possible.”

Japan’s 1947 Constitution states that it must never maintain “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential” in order to fulfill its promise to “forever renounce war.” For decades, this has been interpreted to mean that Japan is banned from possessing some of the most offensive sea and air weapons platforms: aircraft carriers. Yet Japan constructed the 814-foot Izumo with the capability to launch and recover helicopters—and, it turns out, warplanes.

Japan initially put the ship in a unique classification: “helicopter destroyer.” But its design included features that could be adapted to accommodate short takeoff or vertical landing fighter jets. Now that the Izumo will serve “multiple purposes” as an outright aircraft carrier, Japanese authorities want to refer to it as a “mother ship.”

To further add credence to its actions, Japan is seeking to revise its National Defense Program Guidelines to include fighter jets taking off and landing on vessels as acceptable weapons in its defense policy.

Because Japan is not allowed an army or a navy, it has long justified its militaristic actions as maintaining a “self-defense force,” which is allowed under its Constitution.

The Izumo currently holds up to 14 helicopters that are used solely for peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. This is how the Japanese government justified its actions when it commissioned the vessel in 2015. Less than four years later, Japan’s largest operational warship since World War ii is preparing to take on warplanes. Ironically, those jets are being supplied by the United States.

The Nippon News Network has reported that Japan plans to buy 40 F-35B stealth fighter jets from the U.S., jets with vertical launch capability.

In order to circumvent the Japanese Constitution, which America itself instituted, current U.S. political leaders are setting aside the brutal history of World War ii, when the Japanese empire killed an estimated 6 million civilians and prisoners of war and more than 100,000 American troops, in addition to thousands of troops from Australia, Britain, China, the Philippines and beyond. Between the empire’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and its surrender in Tokyo Bay less than four years later, roughly 2.5 million Japanese soldiers and civilians died.

Japan’s recent steps toward remilitarization appear to be in response to rising threats in East Asia. In August, Japan published its annual Defense of Japan paper, which cites the undiminished threat of North Korean missile strikes, the expansion of China’s air and sea power in the area, and Russia’s increased military activity around Japan, particularly in the disputed Northern Territories, or Kuril Islands.

These fears are driving Japan’s militarization and fulfilling Bible prophecy.

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in 1971, “Japan today has no military establishment. … But we should not lose sight of the fact that Japan has become so powerful economically that it could build a military force of very great power very rapidly.”

Japan today is certainly not the Japan that forever renounced war in 1947.

Mr. Armstrong could make such a bold prediction because God had revealed these events to him out of His inspired Word, the Bible. Scriptures such as Revelation 16:12 refer to a massive Asian power bloc, called “the kings of the east,” that will unite to form a 200 million-man military (Revelation 9:16).

While God has not yet revealed all the details about exactly how this prophecy will be fulfilled, Japan will be part of this “kings of the east” alliance.

Ezekiel 38 mentions “Gomer” and “Togarmah” as part of this Asian power bloc. These are ancient names for the people of Japan.

Our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy examines the modern identities of these nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 that comprise the kings of the east:

In his book Compendium of World History, Dr. Herman Hoeh correctly identified Meshech and Tubal as fathers of those who comprise greater Russia today. Magog fathered the people of China and Mongolia. Gomer fathered the Japanese people as well as the Cambodians, Thais, Burmese, Laos and Vietnamese. Togarmah also factored into the ancestry of Japan and some of these other nations.

Meshech, Tubal and Magog are all mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2-3. This clearly reveals that Japan will ally with Russia, China and other Asian nations.

These verses and the powerful military alliance that Japan will join in this end time reveals why it is rapidly remilitarizing today. Japan won’t continue to act under the guise of “defense” for long. It will join Russia and China, along with several other Asian nations, to use its “mother ships” and other offensive weapons to project power. Just as in World War ii, Japan’s military might will once again be in the spotlight for the whole world to see.

To learn more about how Japan is fulfilling Bible prophecy and where its actions are leading, read “Why the Trumpet Watches Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”