Growing concern over China's military buildup—symbolized by its first aircraft carrier—may prompt Japan to convert its new 24,000-ton through-deck destroyer into an aircraft carrier, but opinions diverge on its usefulness and survivability in the East China Sea. The through-deck destroyer, 22DDH (for helicopter destroyer project, Heisei Year 22, a reference to the reign of Japan's current emperor), is a bigger follow-on to the two-ship Hyuga-class that entered service in 2009 and last ...

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