Japan showcases navy amid China spat; S'pore warships in flotilla
ABOARD THE JS YUDACHI (AP) - Japan's navy marked its 60th anniversary with a major exercise on Sunday intended to show off its maritime strength. The display comes amid a tense territorial dispute with China.
About 40 ships - including state-of-the-art destroyers, hovercraft able to launch assaults on rough coastlines and new conventionally powered submarines - took part in Fleet Review 2012, the maritime equivalent of a military parade. About 30 naval aircraft, mostly helicopters, also participated.
Japan's navy was joined by warships from the United States, Singapore and Australia. Representatives from more than 20 countries, including China, also attended the event staged in waters south of Tokyo.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who watched aboard the destroyer JS Kurama, said Japan faces "severe" challenges to its security, though he did not specifically mention the dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea.