News / Asia

    Japan Unveils Biggest Warship Since WWII

    Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's helicopter destroyer DDH183 Izumo, the largest surface combatant of the Japanese navy, is seen during its launching ceremony in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Aug. 6, 2013.
    Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's helicopter destroyer DDH183 Izumo, the largest surface combatant of the Japanese navy, is seen during its launching ceremony in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Aug. 6, 2013.
    VOA News
    Japan has unveiled its biggest warship since the Second World War as part of a plan to bolster its defense of territorial claims in disputed waters.

    Japanese authorities revealed the 250-meter-long destroyer Izumo at a ceremony in Yokohama on Tuesday. The $1.2 billion Japanese-made vessel will be capable of carrying at least nine helicopters when it goes into service in 2015.

    Tokyo says the warship is designed for use in defense and surveillance of Japanese-claimed waters, such as those around an East China Sea island chain where China also claims sovereignty. The Izumo also is intended to provide assistance to areas affected by natural disasters.

    • An aerial view of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's new helicopter destroyer, DDH183 Izumo, is seen at its launching ceremony in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, August 6, 2013.
    • Crew members of Japan's newest warship stand along the vessel during a launch ceremony in Yokohama, August 6, 2013.
    • A member of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force looks at the DDH183 Izumo, August 6, 2013.
    • Japanese Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso waves to guests while attending the launch ceremony for Japan's newest warship at the port in Yokohama, August 6, 2013.
    • Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's helicopter destroyer DDH183 Izumo.

    The Japanese military is barred from building up offensive capabilities by the country's pacifist constitution, but the government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering modifications to that restriction.

    Beijing has long viewed Japanese military activities with suspicion and accused Tokyo of failing to fully atone for 20th century wartime atrocities against China.

    China's growing military arsenal also has alarmed its Asian neighbors, as the build-up has coincided with an increasingly assertive Chinese stance on maritime disputes. Beijing commissioned its first aircraft carrier last year.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
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    by: hoa minh truong from: western Australia
    August 07, 2013 7:55 AM
    Japan had the aircraft carrier since second world war, while this period, China had not. Nowadays, China couldn't be able to make it, they bought from Ukraine then deployed weapon as military fashion to use for intimidate the countries being around region. on the other hand, China gets lost the main mission of aircraft carrier, that is not for fighting, but it is as the floating base in ocean, the fighting is the job of warship. The people's liberation army and China government don't understand the function of this strategy of aircraft carrier, so the weapon added around the aircraft carrier is like a rural girl comes to city at first time, she wears anything as in face, neck, so people look ugly.

    China could buy the aircraft carrier, Japan made it, so China anger as jealousy, of course China has not enough the technological level to product the aircraft carrier, despite they are proud as the most largest population in the world, actually China promote themselves as the super power, it just is behind US.
    Now, after Japan launched the aircraft carrier, the world recognize China should be keened to propaganda about the outstanding strength, indeed they are not.
    Hoa Minh Truong. ( author of the dark journey, good evening Vietnam & from laborer to author)

    by: Samurai from: Japan
    August 07, 2013 7:38 AM
    Looks like many Chinese are posting their opinions to this column under fake American names. CPR already has an aircraft carrier. Japan has the right to protect its inherent territories (such as Senkaku islets, never paraphrase them with Chinese funny name) from Chinese gangster-like claim to Senkaku. It is high time Japan amended its pacifist constitution and strengthened its military to prevent Chinese from invading Japanese sacred territories.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    August 06, 2013 9:56 PM
    Exactly speaking, this warship is not an offensive one but an escort one. This ship can carry only nine helicopters (in Japan, it is said only five) and eventhough, the biggest one ever built in Japanese navy. So, you probably could notice how humble Japanese navy's equipments are.

    The reason why Japanese constitution is called pacific is because it says Japan abandons any war as a measure to solve international disputes forever. It also declares three principles regarding nuclear weapons, first we do not have any nuclear weapons, second we do not develope any nuclear weapons, and third we do not allow anyone to bring nuclear weapons into Japan's territory.

    PM Abe, yet often called hawkish, agrees and continues to keep these principles of pacific constitution. What Abe wants to do in reforming Japanese constituion is having the constitution allow collective defence forces for Japan in international disputes. He and we Japanese learned during the Galf war that those who help allys only with funding but not send army forces are not appreciated from allys. We Japanese were once called economic animal as to be too much enthusiastic to earning money. It made us a bit shameful and have been urged us to play some other roles in international society. We are claiming our sovereignty of Senkaku ilands according to the international law and probably this warship has nothing to do with the disputes.

    by: Carlos from: California
    August 06, 2013 6:56 PM
    Good. It's about time Japan started doing so, we can't always protect Japan and Japan can't be relying on us forever. Hopefully this will mean that we can further develop our friendship.

    by: Truth from: Earth
    August 06, 2013 6:47 PM
    Good for them, their average IQs are higher than white people and the U.S., so it's inevitable that they will prevail.

    by: Peter from: US
    August 06, 2013 6:39 PM
    The name of the warship "Izumo" is the same as the warship built using the money China paid to Japan as "reparation" for losing the War of Jiawu ( a war China fought to defend the invasion of Japan) ended in 1895. Japan used the old Izumo to invade China again in 1937-1945. Now, Japan is ready to invade China again using the new Izumo.

    by: Real History
    August 06, 2013 6:33 PM
    "The Japanese only play victims and never ask why they got bombed. Until they tell their children the truth of the history, they will never be a respected nation around the world."

    Another victim of the American school system.

    It's been widely validated that the USA didn't even need to bomb Japan as by that time they were nearly beaten into submission. Japan was bombed because we (military industrial complex) spent years of money and research and needed test subjects, plain and simple.

    There was also prior warning about the Pearl Harbor attack, but it was ignored and allowed to happen to rouse public anger and allow a much broader agenda (justify the bombing). Just like 9/11 and our 10+ year war against boogeymen in the Axis of Evil, it's all one big hoax and manipulation of the American taxpayer. The bankers and military complex are (and have been) funding both sides of all wars. Wake the F up.

    by: James from: Texas
    August 06, 2013 6:27 PM
    This looks much more like an aircraft carrier rather than a destroyer. Kudos to Japan for taking China seriously and preparing for the worst.

    by: DocHollywood_2 from: Midwest
    August 06, 2013 6:11 PM
    I think they should have named it the Yammamato after Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who kicked our butts at Pearl Harbor and the the first six months of World War II

    by: John from: US
    August 06, 2013 5:42 PM
    Japan has abandoned its pacifist constitution and developed back to its path to imperialism. As the news around showing the Japanese memorize its anniversary of US atomic bombing, the Japanese only play victims and never ask why they got bombed. Until they tell their children the truth of the history, they will never be a respected nation around the world.
    In Response

    by: Paul from: Japan
    August 07, 2013 6:39 AM
    John, where do these ideas of yours come from? Japan's constitution is still firmly in tact -- that's a fact. My daughter came home from school and explained to me that atomic bombs were dropped on Japan to save both Japanese and American lives. The Japanese curriculum is quite standardized across the country -- that's a fact. How are you measuring respect? Low crime rate, affordable quality healthcare for everybody, life expectancy, literacy, low teen pregnancy ... the list goes on. Nothing you wrote makes any sense at all.
    In Response

    by: Takeo Mori
    August 06, 2013 9:16 PM
    Japan is respected everywhere in the world (to some degree) except in three countries; People's Republic of China, South Korea, and North Korea.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    August 06, 2013 7:03 PM
    You really have no idea!!!
    In Response

    by: Pete from: USA
    August 06, 2013 6:58 PM
    Most everyone I've ever spoken to, obviously here in the US, respects Japan more than most other nations on this planet. I don't know where you get your last statement from. As for abandoning the pacifist constitution, this only benefits the region and most importantly for us..the US!
    In Response

    by: Robert from: Texas
    August 06, 2013 6:27 PM
    Japan is a well respected nation around the world.
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