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Japan's new warship is the country's largest since WWII

Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:30 AM   |   Comments

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Japan has unveiled its biggest warship since WWII, a flat-top helicopter carrier named the Izumo.

The nearly 820 foot-long ship is reportedly designed to carry up to 14 helicopters and will be used for national defense purposes including anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance, Japanese officials said.

In addition, the ship will be used to bolster Japan's first response efforts and their ability to transport personnel and supplies in the event of a natural disaster like the devastating tsunami that hit the nation in 2011.

The Izumo, which had been under construction since 2009, was introduced this week as Japan and China continue a dispute over several islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan.

According to Sky News, ships from both nations have been patrolling the isles called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China.

Regarding concerns that Japan plans to use The Izumo to launch fighter jets or other strike aircraft, officials have said the country does not intend to use the ship for those purposes.

Moreover, The Izumo does not have catapults or a "ski-jump" ramp for launching fixed-wing aircraft.

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