Italian aircraft carrier to make August port call in Japan

The Italian aircraft carrier Cavour left southern Italy for the Indo-Pacific region on Saturday. The vessel is scheduled to make its first-ever port call in Japan in late August as part of efforts to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.

Sources close to Italy's navy say the ship set out on the voyage from the port of Taranto.

It is scheduled to visit Australia and some other countries before arriving in Japan.

The carrier was commissioned in 2008. It is 244 meters long and can carry 12 helicopters or 8 attack aircraft.

The vessel can also accommodate wheeled and tracked land vehicles, and has been dispatched for disaster-relief efforts in the past.

In recent years, European countries have made a series of moves to strengthen their involvement in the Indo-Pacific region with China's increasing maritime activities in mind.

Britain and France have sent aircraft carriers and other warships to the region. Germany plans to send its Navy and Air Force to the area this summer.

In 2023, Italy's state-of-the-art patrol vessel made a port call in Japan.