Though the flattop design makes it look like an aircraft carrier, the Japanese Defense Ministry says the ship is not, and will not be used to launch fighter jets.
The $1.2 billion ship was launched in the Yokohama dockyard on the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
It also comes at a time when there is increased military tensions between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
“The destroyer is aimed at better responding to various contingencies in waters near Japan,” reported NHK.
China warned Japan on Tuesday over any moves of military expansionism
“We are concerned over Japan’s constant expansion of its military equipment. Japan’s Asian neighbors and the international community need to be highly vigilant about this trend,” the Global Times quoted the Chinese Defense Ministry as saying. “Japan should learn from history, adhere to its policy of self-defense and abide by its promise to take the road of peaceful development.”
Both China and Japan claim sovereignty over a chain of uninhabited islands between Okinawa and Taiwan. They are known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Image/CNN