Japan navy to unveil biggest warship since WWII
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan is set to unveil its biggest warship since World War II on Tuesday amid tensions with China following maritime skirmishes between the two nations over disputed islands.
Tokyo's military is holding a ceremony later in the day in the port city of Yokohama to show off its new 248-metre helicopter carrier, which will be a centrepiece of its naval power.
The vessel was announced several years ago but the ceremony comes as the conservative government mulls boosting military capabilities with debate swirling over a possible overhaul of Tokyo's pacifist constitution.
The Japanese-built carrier can accommodate nine helicopters and is expected to play a major role in disaster and rescue missions, as well as defending sea lanes and Japanese territory, according to the defence ministry. It is unclear when it will go into service.