According to Nikkei, its displacement is 13,500 tons and its length 197 meters. The deck can service three helicopters simultaneously. By comparison, the USS George H.W. Bush, also due to enter service in 2008 or 2009, displaces between 101,000 and 104,000 tons, is 333 meters long, and will carry 90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
Why compare the Hyuga with an American supercarrier? Because before Norimitsu Onishi and others hyperventilate about this latest sign of “Japan rising,” it’s important to keep things in perspective. As the MSDF points out in the Nikkei article, “This warship does not have the ability to mount an attack. It can be used for transportation and other multiple purposes at the time of large-scale disasters.”
Here’s hoping that the Hyuga will see years of service enabling Japan to meet its commitments as a regional power.