An armada of carriers, cruiser, destroyers and submarines gathered off Japan's coast on Sunday in a display of naval power that showcased Tokyo's latest warships and signaled wider engagement by the U.S. Navy in the western Pacific.
The Fleet Review in seas near Tokyo was the first major display of Japanese military hardware since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won lawmaker approval for legislation that for the first time since World War Two will allow Japanese soldiers to defend their foreign allies.
Abe is pursuing a doctrine of collective self defense with allies meant to give his nation a bigger role in regional security in order to counterbalance the military power of an increasingly assertive China.
Neighboring China, which has strained ties with several Southeast Asian countries over territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, has said it is wary of Japan's changing defence posture.
Abe in an address after the maritime show told sailors to gird themselves for future missions and "to continue to guard the nation's peace."