Japan Breaks From Military Tradition To Protect American Ship

Japan's largest warship is escorting a U.S. resupply ship headed toward the Korean Peninsula.
Posted at 9:02 AM, May 01, 2017

Japan is lending a hand to the U.S. Navy as it tries to pressure North Korea.  

The Japanese navy is sending its largest warship, the Izumo, to escort a U.S. supply ship heading toward the Korean Peninsula. That U.S. ship is refueling a fleet in the area.

The Izumo is only protecting the American ship within Japanese waters, but it's still a big break from tradition for the nation's military. 

Since the end of WWII, Japan has only been able to act in self-defense. This is the first military movement under a new Japanese law that allows its ships to come to the defense of an ally that's protecting Japan. 

American ships were sent to the Korean Peninsula to act as a deterrent. But the North launched another failed ballistic missile test on Saturday –– its fourth since March. 

Japan's prime minister called the latest missile launch a "grave threat" to his country.