THE British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida to Downing Street on Thursday and praised Japan’s “strong stance” against Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Boris Johnson also pointed out similarities between the conflict in Ukraine and the security situation in Asia.
“There is a direct reading of the actions of autocratic and coercive powers in Europe in the face of what can happen in East Asia. We need to work more together”, stressed the head of the British government.
The UK prime minister’s office stressed that the defense agreement will allow the two countries’ armed forces to be mobilized for training, joint exercises and disaster relief.
The heads of government agreed that “democracies around the world need to stand together against authoritarian regimes,” Downing Street said in a statement.
Fumio Kishida’s first official visit to the UK as Prime Minister was marked by exhibition flights of three Royal Air Force planes in London.
Japan is one of the nations that condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which joined Western states in imposing sanctions against Moscow and provided Kiev with helmets and other non-lethal military material.
Tokyo fears the conflict in Europe could have an impact on East Asia, where China’s military has become increasingly assertive and threatens to unite Taiwan by force if necessary.
For its part, the UK has shown an Indo-Pacific leaning in its foreign policy since leaving the European Union (EU) in 2020 and sees Japan as its main ally in East Asia.
For Chris Hughes, professor of international politics and Japanese studies at the University of Warwick, Kishida’s visit “will further consolidate a ‘quasi-alliance’ between the UK and Japan, which has been in the works for the last decade or so.” .
London is expected to soon announce the appointment of Greg Clark as the new trade envoy to Japan, as the UK negotiates entry into the Progressive Comprehensive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Japan and the United Kingdom are among 14 countries that sent troops in August for annual military exercises between the Indonesian and US armies in the Sumatra archipelago and the island of Borneo, at a time of heightened tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea. , an area for commercial transport, most of which is claimed by China.
The United Kingdom has also concluded with the United States and Australia a security pact, Aukus, in the Indo-Pacific zone, which aims to combat Chinese influence.
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