"It's not an aircraft carrier. It's not an aircraft carrier. It's not an aircraft carrier..."
Just because everyone refers to it as such does not make it so. Japan has no offensive military capabilities--well, aside from the new Boeing 767 aerial tankers allowing the ASDF to refuel in mid-flight. Otherwise, no. Besides, a 1988 Cabinet Office decision determined that Japan cannot possess attack carriers.
Damn funny looking destroyer.
But then again, the ersatz Japanbureaucratese word for "destroyer" is "escort ship."
Later - Any similarities to this July 12, 2005 launch ceremony (hang in there--it takes a while to download) should be studiously ignored.
Though you have to love the choice of names for the darn thing: the "Dokdo."