Why were photographers booing at PM Kishida’s “International Ship Watching Ceremony”? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why were photographers booing at PM Kishida’s “International Ship Watching Ceremony”?

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida boarded the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for the 70th anniversary of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

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When Prime Minister Kishida stepped off the helicopter onto the deck of the destroyer Izumo, the press was asked to wait in a designated area. The press was waiting in a designated area and was told, ‘Please take pictures of the prime minister from here. However, the prime minister got off from the opposite door from where the press was waiting. Naturally, the photographers booed. There were other incidents like this, and I could not shake off the impression that various “staging” was hastily prepared to appeal to the world,” said a journalist who participated in the ceremony.

On November 6, the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s “International Ship Watching Ceremony” was held off the coast of Sagami Bay for the first time in 20 years. Since it was the 70th anniversary of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, a total of 39 vessels, 20 from the MSDF, 1 from the Coast Guard, and 18 from 12 countries including the U.S., South Korea, Australia, Canada, India, and Pakistan, gathered for the event.

The destroyer “Hyuga” was in the lead as naval vessels from each country sailed by. The Blue Impulse acrobatic flight took place in the sky above. Photo: Kenji Otsuka

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, 65, who landed on the “Izumo” as mentioned above, criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and North Korea’s missile launch.

He stated, “We must be prepared for a situation in which someone does not follow the rules and tramples on the peace and security of other countries through the use of force or threats of force.

He also stated that Japan must strengthen its defense capabilities.

Prime Minister Kishida’s “showmanship” at the international ship-viewing ceremony was not limited to this. The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which was not listed as a participating ship but was fully loaded with aircraft, made a surprise appearance. Prime Minister Kishida boarded the Ronald Reagan by helicopter and had this exchange with a U.S. Navy official who greeted him.

Prime Minister Kishida : “ Is China really capable of operating that (the new aircraft carrier “Fujian” under construction)?

U.S. official: “The crew is not skilled enough.

Prime Minister Kishida : “ After all, the aircraft alone is not enough.”

The distinguished fleets of Western nations and the strong cooperative relationship between China and the U.S. Prime Minister Kishida made an unparalleled show of forcefulness at the international naval fleet viewing ceremony, but behind it all, there is a hidden agenda. International journalist Toshihiro Yamada explains.

This is certainly true, but behind it all is the US’s misgivings about the US. But behind the scenes, we can see the U.S.’ intentions. The U.S. went to the trouble of boarding the Ronald Reagan and asking questions about the Chinese aircraft carrier. This must have been staged with the intentions of the US side in mind. The U.S. believes that Japan, the U.S., and South Korea must be a united force in order to counter China and North Korea. This time, it was assumed that South Korea would not participate in the international naval photo-op, but in the end, it did. There is no doubt that this is also due to the U.S.’ efforts.

What did China and North Korea think of Japan’s blatant attitude?

Prime Minister Kishida making a speech on the deck of the destroyer Izumo. Given the situation, Russia was not invited and China did not participate.

From the November 25, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • Photo by Kenji Otsuka

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