NavWeek: Pacific Perspective

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For those who missed it, comments made earlier this month by retired Japanese navy Vice Adm. Yoji Koda during the 2014 annual U.S. Surface Navy Association (SNA) Symposium certainly livened up the joint.

While other SNA speakers – most notably U.S. Navy officials – navigated away from any caustic comments about growing Chinese military might in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, Yoji Koda went full speed ahead.

The one aim of the Chinese, he says, is simple: “Keeping the U.S. out of the area.”

The Chinese are developing capabilities meant to neutralize the U.S. in a time of war, he says.  The Chinese plan to take out the carrier forces first, submarine forces next, and then satellites. “Ten, 20 years from now, they want to be able to attack U.S. forces. Okinawa is the first line of defense for U.S. and Japan.”

China is testing its capability, he notes. “But China does not have an ally in the Indian Ocean. Only naval forces with strong logistics can stay a long time at sea.”

As many know, China has been looking to establish logistical routes – that is the driving force, some say, behind its aggressive claims on regional island chains.

The admiral says, “China is making one mistake – carriers. To kill a carrier is easy… with poor protection.”

It would be more difficult to battle China, he says, if the country instead focused more on developing submarines.

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