Japan Unveils Biggest Warship Since WWII

On Tuesday, Japan unveils its biggest warship since World War II.

According to Fox News, the ship has a flight deck that is nearly 820 feet long and is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters.

RT reported that the ship, dubbed Izumo, will enter service as Tokyo confronts Beijing over a long-standing island sovereignty dispute.

The warship has been under construction since 2009. According to Fox News:

"Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense -- particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions -- and to bolster the nation's ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011."
Voices of America stated that the $1.2 billion warship will officially go into service in 2015.

The unveiling of the warship comes just after the commemoration of the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.

The Inquisitr reported earlier that it was 68 years ago today, August 6, 1945, that an American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, the port city of Nagasaki was also bombed.

Thousands gathered at a peace park in Hiroshima for the ceremony and shared a moment of silence followed by a "peace declaration" speech given by the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui.

As mentioned before, the unveiling of the ship also comes at a time where Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan.

According to Fox News, the tensions over these islands, "along with China's heavy spending on defense and military modernization, have heightened calls in Japan for beefed-up naval and air forces."

Voices of America report stated the following:

"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."

Even though Japan's new warship has the capability of potentially being used in the future to launch fighter jets, Japan says it has no plans to use the ship in that manner.

[Image via Shutterstock/Andrejs Zavadskis]