Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


Back in 2012, China inaugurated its first aircraft carrier called the Liaoning – a refurbished Ukrainian flattop. However, this carrier – which is also called as 001 – has limited combat capabilities and is most likely being used for training personnel for the domestic carriers that Beijing is building. The first of these domestic carriers, the 002, was already launched this spring and is likely to enter into service sometime in 2020 with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Starting with the 002, China’s flattops are expected to be more advanced and powerful. A factor that Beijing’s neighbors and the rest of the world will have to contend with – which is especially true for Japan, China’s traditional rival.

China’s DF-21D “carrier-killer” and the rest of its rapidly modernizing features puts it in the elite club of the countries with the greatest naval powers in the world. In theory, Japan could also build (more) powerful anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) because of course, it is a technologically advanced country and its scientists could produce quality and reliable missiles. After all, Tokyo has experience with missile defense systems and space launch technology. However, this would be a wrongheaded approach because it would take some time and would be costly – best compared with America’s 247 Pershing-II missiles built late in the Cold War costing some $2.6 billion or roughly $5.8 billion in 2017 dollars. Furthermore, China has extensive experience in missiles which includes ballistic missiles for nuclear weapons.

To deal with China’s aircraft carriers, Japan must not imitate Beijing but should pursue its own competitive strategy instead. In short, make use of what’s available and what the country is best at. As mentioned earlier, Japan might have experience with missile defense systems and space launch technology; however, China is way ahead. So, Japan has to focus on the area where it excels, which are submarines.

The Soryu-class submarines of Tokyo are arguably one of the most powerful and capable subs in the world. At 4 200 tons submerged, Soryu-class submarines are the largest submarines built by Japan. At 275 feet long and nearly twenty-eight feet wide, each of the subs has a range of 6 100 nautical miles and can reportedly dive to 2 132 feet of depth.

According to Zachary Keck of The National Interest, submarines (even the far less capable) pose an enormous threat to aircraft carriers. As one U.S. official quoted “One small submarine has the ability to threaten a large capital asset like an aircraft carrier.”

Also, aside from the advantage mentioned above, submarines are cost effective. The relatively expensive Soryu-class subs of Japan cost roughly around half a billion dollars per unit. Japan could build eleven units of them for the amount of money that America had spent in building the Pershing-II missiles. Best of all, it is noted that anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is China’s weakness.

Japan and China still stew over a list of lingering war conflicts including the Opium Wars and the Nanjing massacre, and just recently, contest a group of uninhabited islets – known as the Diaoyu Islands. As China approaches the day when it will have multiple aircraft carriers and would be able to send more planes to surround the islands or even keep them parked nearby, the tension between the two countries might be heightened. On the other hand, Japan has four aircraft carriers but ranks 7th as a country to have the world’s strongest military as compared to China which ranks 3rd – according to a statistical database GlobalFirePower(dot)com.

Given the statistics, thus, submarines offer the most economical and cost-effective means for Japan to deal with China’s aircraft carriers.



People of different faiths come together on Diwali.

Diwali, the festival of light that signifies the victory of good over evil. It brings happiness, progress, prosperity and longevity of life to those who celebrate the festival. People of different faiths, religions, social statuses and other differences come together to light up the moonless night of Diwali with Diyas, lanterns and firecrackers. They share meals and sweets filled with love and joy.

The most widely known story of why Diwali is celebrated is that Hindus, that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after rescuing Sita and after 14 years of exile. However, within Hinduism itself, there are variations as to why Diwali is celebrated. Diwali has different but equally significant meanings in different religions.

Keep Reading Show less

The Lotus flower is the symbol of purity, spontaneity and divine beauty

The Lotus flower is one of the most prominent flowers of India. It holds great importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. Hindu gods and goddesses are often depicted sitting on a bloomed lotus flower. Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Laxmi and numerous others are shown holding a lotus flower in one of their hands. What is so important about Lotus? The Lotus flower symbolizes the creation of the universe.

According to Indian philosophies first Lotus plant was born from the navel of Sri Maha Vishnu and upon blooming creator Lord Brahma was born from it, who in turn created the whole universe. This is why it is believed that Lotus is a mythological map of the entire universe.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Intoday's time, if someone uses fountain pens, they are seen 'superior' or 'royal'.

Today, fountain pens are seen as aesthetic souvenirs. In fact, in today's time, if someone uses fountain pens, they are seen as 'superior' or 'royal'. Interestingly, there exists an astounding story behind the usage of fountain pens.

It is believed that the first mention of the fountain pen was in the year 973, when Ma'ād al-Mu'izz, who was the caliph of the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa, asked for a pen that would keep his hand clean while using it and would not leave ink marks. So, al-Mu'izz's wish was fulfilled when he received a pen that held the ink inside and could also be held upside-down without spilling the ink. Though, it must be noted that we are not quite aware of how this pen looked or worked.

Keep reading... Show less