ACCORDING TO CUBAN SOURCES TRAINING SHIPS OF JAPAN'S MARITIME SELF DEFENSE FORCE MOORED IN THE PORT OF HAVANA , CUBA ON SATURDAY JULY 5, 2014.
THIS IS WHAT SUPPOSEDLY HAPPENED:
THIS IS WHAT WE THINK IT MEANS:
We don't think anything unusual is going here, and probably we are not seeing a first. Japanese naval vessels visit Gulf Coast Ports like New Orleans pretty much on an annual basis. While Japan's "navy" is constitutionally limited to being a "maritime self defense force " this pretty much means that they stay away from what would be commonly considered "aggressive " naval weapons such as air craft carriers, big cruisers, and nuclear submarines capable of under water launches of missiles. But their naval force is usually rated about number 4 in the world for sheer size of fleet and air arm, and the number of personnel. Despite a tendency to keep the core of their fleet near home waters Japan trains its officers like naval professional anywhere. Academy graduates are supposed to graduate to the fleet not only educated but well traveled. Japan's naval vessels are not carrying contraband cargo. They are not violating any tenet of Japanese / American relations and may be developing a relationship that could be of benefit to us one day. The Chinese are after all, trying to buy Cuba. America won't make a counter offer because we still expect them to pay the heirs of United Fruit company for taking the Cuban lands the Fruit company operated. Japan is China's close economic and political rival for regional leadership. Japan participates in global trade. We suspect that a little Cuban visit has been on the Gulf Caribbean cruise agenda for years with the full knowledge of all of the U.S. administrations involved. Apparently Japan thinks the experience is good for its future naval officers. We believe that if its good for Japanese naval professionalism, its good for us. We doubt a visit to Cuba is going to throw any kind of wedge in U.S.-Japanese relationships, especially naval relationships. We've been economically, and militarily joined at the hip for roughly 70 years. In the Asia Pacific Japan, the Philippines, and Australia aren't just allies, they are our friends. Since China seeks to dominate vice cooperate they have neither formal allies nor friends in own neighborhood. Cuba likes Chinese money, but if they like the Chinese at all, the extreme geographic distance helps. Relax, ops normal