Why Japan needs nuclear submarines

Building its own fleet may be problematic but Japan could lease subs from the United States

Japan’s helicopter carriers Izumo (above) and Kaga are in the process of becoming aircraft carriers and will need to be escorted by nuclear-powered submarines. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Last month, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom announced a new security alliance, Aukus. The pact notably has Australia acquiring eight nuclear-powered submarines with the support of its partners, making it easier for Australia to deploy them to the South Pacific, the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

In the Indo-Pacific, the US and India have nuclear submarines. France has also deployed a nuclear submarine in the South China Sea. However, there is one country in the region that does not possess a nuclear submarine despite having 23 conventional subs (including two for training): Japan.

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