(Sankei: November 3, 2015 – p. 21)
A launching ceremony for a state-of-the-art submarine of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) was conducted on Nov. 2 at the Kobe shipyard of Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Chuo Ward, Kobe City. The submarine is called “Sekiryu.” The name “Sekiryu” signifies a sacred dragon that protects the southern region [in an Asian myth]. The submarine will be delivered to the Defense Ministry in March 2017. It is still undecided where the submarine will be deployed. According to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the submarine is 84 meters long with an underwater speed of 20 knots. She is the eighth vessel of the “Soryu” class of submarine. The cost to build it was about 55.9 billion yen.
About 320 people, including State Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya and officials of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, attended the launching ceremony.
Japan is competing with Germany and France to win a contract from Australia to build its navy’s next-generation submarine.