It is a race. Do not under estimate the quality of their shipyards and the eventual power of their navy.
These things take time to build up. Maybe 20 to 30 years.
Japan had a magnificent navy in the past. Not just the hardware, but including the quality navy personnel manning the ships. In WW2, Japan had about 20 to 30 aircraft carriers and countless battleships, destroyers, cruisers, gunboats, etc. 2nd best Navy in the world after USA. They thrashed the Russian Navy at Tsushima Straits in1905 and the British Navy (Repulse & Prince of Wales) in 1941 in combat.
Oh, and we invited the Abe guy to come and talk. He claims to want to talk peace.