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RTR4USCG 
Japan Takes Over Biggest Warship Since WWII - 25 Mar 2015 
Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific.

The Izumo with a crew of 470 sailors is a highly visible example of how Japan is expanding the capability of its military to operate overseas and enters service as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks lawmaker approval to loosen the restraints of Japan's pacifist post-war constitution.

The 248 meter (813 feet) long Izumo resembles U.S. Marine Corp amphibious assault carriers in size and design but it is designated as a helicopter destroyer, a label that allows Japan to keep within the bounds of a constitutional ban on owning the means to wage war. Aircraft carriers, because of their ability to project force, are considered offensive weapons.

"The vessel can serve in a wide range of roles including peace keeping operations, international disaster relief and aid," Gen Nakatani, Japan's Minister of Defense said standing beside the vessel after a handover ceremony at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama.

"It also helps improve our ability to combat submarines.

Abe's moves to ease Japan's pacifist constitution and its build up in defense capabilities is unnerving neighbor China. 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URLX 
March 25, 2015 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URHQ 
March 25, 2015 
Sailors wave from the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Sailors wave from the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Sailors wave from the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URQP 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force stand in front of the country's naval ensign during the... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force stand in front of the country's naval ensign during the... 
Soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force stand in front of the country's naval ensign during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URNG 
March 25, 2015 
People watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama,... 
Yokohama, Japan 
People watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama... 
People watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URKW 
March 25, 2015 
Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani speaks to soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force during... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani speaks to soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force during... 
Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani speaks to soldiers of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URPW 
March 25, 2015 
People wave as the Izumo warship departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama,... 
Yokohama, Japan 
People wave as the Izumo warship departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama... 
People wave as the Izumo warship departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URL7 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URPZ 
March 25, 2015 
Workers unmoor the Izumo warship before its departure from the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama,... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Workers unmoor the Izumo warship before its departure from the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama... 
Workers unmoor the Izumo warship before its departure from the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URP0 
March 25, 2015 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine... 
Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URPF 
March 25, 2015 
The Izumo warship is seen moored at the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south... 
Yokohama, Japan 
The Izumo warship is seen moored at the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama 
The Izumo warship is seen moored at the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URNN 
March 25, 2015 
Workers leave a handing over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama,... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Workers leave a handing over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama... 
Workers leave a handing over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URP8 
March 25, 2015 
Workers attend the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Workers attend handing-over ceremony of Izumo warship at Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama 
Workers attend the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URNF 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers raise a flag with Japan's naval insignia during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers raise a flag with Japan's naval insignia during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship... 
Soldiers raise a flag with Japan's naval insignia during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URM9 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URJY 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine... 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URKZ 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine... 
Soldiers untangle a rope before the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URKO 
March 25, 2015 
Officers watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Officers watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Officers watch the departure of the Izumo warship from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
JAPAN-CARRIER/NAVY
RTR4URJV 
March 25, 2015 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Yokohama, Japan 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard... 
Soldiers march during the handing-over ceremony of the Izumo warship at the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo March 25, 2015. Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo, a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. REUTERS/Thomas Peter 
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