A launching ceremony for an 8,200-ton, 169.9-meter warship for the Maritime Self-Defense Force was held Monday at a plant in Yokohama's Isogo Ward as Tokyo keeps steadily bolstering its defense capability against North Korean and Chinese missiles in close cooperation with U.S. military forces.

The Maya-class Aegis destroyer, which is yet to be furnished with major weapons systems, will be handed over to the MSDF in March 2020.

Defense officials have pinned great hopes on it. When deployed, the destroyer — built on the back of a ¥164.8 billion ($1.5 billion) budget for the ship and its weapon systems — will be one of Japan's most powerful naval ships, boasting the latest version of the state-of-the-art Aegis combat system, which can be closely linked to the U.S. naval combat network.