Kyle Mizokami, National Interest: When Is an Aircraft Carrier Not an Aircraft Carrier? When It's Japan's.
Some of the most remarkable vessels sailing today in any navy are Japanese. After more than six decades, Japan can once again count large ships with full-length flight decks and roomy, bow-to-stern aircraft carriers as part of its navy. Except don’t call it a navy—and whatever you do, don’t call them aircraft carriers.
Japan has three “helicopter destroyers”: Hyuga, its sister ship Ise and the larger Izumo. Each strongly resembles an aircraft carrier, but due to political and engineering concerns are technically not—nor ever will be. All that being said, Japan is on a trajectory that could lead to actual carriers if the need arises.
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WNU Editor: The above video shows two of these Japanese "helicopter destroyers" sailing with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).