onsdag 3. februar 2021

UK carrier to hold naval drills with Japan in Asian waters

Japan and the U.K. will hold joint exercises during a British aircraft carrier group's deployment to Asian waters this year, the countries agreed Wednesday, part of Tokyo's push for greater European interest in concerns like the Senkaku Islands and Taiwan as China continues to strengthen its presence in the region.

The agreement to hold military drills was struck at a videoconference that included Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi as well as British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. The dialogue was the first so-called two-plus-two meeting between the countries since December 2017 and comes as London seeks to strengthen ties in Asia after it formally left the European Union last month.

The Japanese side welcomed the British decision to deploy the carrier group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth as early as this spring to the Indo-Pacific as a sign of its greater commitment to the region.