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Japan unveiled Izumo, its biggest warship

Staff writer |
Japan unveiled its new 250-meter-long destroyer, the country's biggest warship since the Second World War. The warship Izumo can carry up to 14 helicopters and it has anti-submarine and surveillance capabilities.

Japan is also showcasing the warship's potential role in disaster relief, transporting aid workers and transporting emergency supplies to affected areas. Izumo has been under construction since 2009 and it enters water at a time of tension between Japan and China over a border. Both countries are claiming sovereignty over a group of small islands between Japan and Taiwan, which are located in a part of the East China Sea rich in energy and mineral resources.

Izumo is 250 metres (820ft feet) long and it is lacking launching catapults or a "ski-jump" ramp on its flat-top deck but it may be used in the future to launch fighter jets with vertical take-off capability although Japan insists it has no such plans. Izumo, a 19,500-tonne vessel, is worth $1.2 billion, it was made using Japanese technologies and expert, and it goes into service in 2015.

During the Second World War Japan had one the best naval forces in the Pacific but as part of the terms of its 1945 surrender to the Allies, Japan's Constitution doesn't permit the country to operate aircraft carriers. However, Izumo is suspiciosly similar to an aircraft carrier.

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