UK strengthens defence and security ties with Japan
The UK and Japan have agreed to work more closely together to tackle issues of cyber security, counter-terrorism and defence.
The announcement is timely, given the unprecedented threat currently posed by North Korea. Japan is already the UK’s closest ally in Asia, but the Prime Minister, Theresa May, feels that increased cooperation will bring with it greater certainty in a decidedly uncertain world.
According to the Prime Minister, Japan is a natural partner for the UK on matters of security and defence. The two nations have broadly similar democratic values and both favour a rules-based international system of laws.
Having agreed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, the UK and Japan will now pursue common foreign policy goals – finding a peaceful solution to the North Korea crisis chief among them. The two countries will also carry out anti-piracy operations along the Gulf of Aden and jointly-lead de-mining and peacekeeping missions across Africa.
The Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation outlines:
- Defence: The HMS Argyll is to be deployed in the region next December, while UK troops will jointly exercise with their Japanese counterparts throughout the year. This will be a first for non-US troops on Japanese soil.
- Cyber Security: The UK and Japan will collaborate on cyber security measures ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, sharing best practice and expertise through expert exchanges.
- Counter-terrorism: The two countries have agreed to a much-improved programme of information-sharing and will strengthen ties on aviation security and violent extremism. The UK will also offer practical support to Japan’s Olympics counter-terrorism preparation, sharing best practice on mass event safety and security.
“As two outward-facing countries with many shared priorities and shared challenges, Japan remains a natural partner for us on defence and security issues,” said the Prime Minister, Theresa May.
“I am determined that our defence and security cooperation will continue to go from strength to strength, enhancing our collective response to threats to the international order and to global peace and security, through increased cooperation on defence, cyber security, and counter-terrorism.
“And that must include confronting the threat that North Korea poses and ensuring the regime stops its aggressive acts.”
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