FILE PHOTO OF JAPANESE SHIP WAVE FLAGS AS IT DEPARTS YOKOSUKA.
Relatives of crew aboard the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force
minesweeper Uraga wave rising-sun flags to bid farewell to the vessel
as it leaves Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo in this November 25,
2001 file photo. The sight of the first Japanese warships in Asian
waters since World War Two sent a shutter through China, but for other
nations in Southeast Asia, wary of China's growing influence, that
alone was reason to cautiously welcome Japan's new military role.