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Japan to send warship to disputed South China Sea

Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since WWII.

China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the US holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and US naval vessels in July.

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