- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

Japan has a new 24,000-ton helicopter carrier that comes with the distinction of being the nation’s largest warship to enter its fleet since World War II.

JS Izumo (DDH-183) was commissioned Wednesday during a ceremony attended by Defense Minister Gen Nakatani. The event took place in Yokohama, which is also the home of the U.S Navy’s Seventh Fleet.

“This heightens our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect,” said an unnamed official with Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force, U.S. Naval Institute News reported.

The Izumo reportedly has a crew of 470 sailors and can field up to seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k ASW helicopters and seven AgustaWestland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters.

“The vessel can serve in a wide range of roles including peacekeeping operations, international disaster relief and aid,” Mr. Nakatani said, CNN reported Thursday.

The Izumo, which is only a fifth of the size of the USS George Washington, will not field fixed-wing aircraft, CNN reported.

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