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UK and Japan to strengthen military ties to counter China

At the time, the Japanese commander said there was “a whole new level of uncertainty and increasing complexity in the current world situation.”

The new agreement will facilitate logistics cooperation between the UK and Japan.

Mr Kishida is on a week-long trip to strengthen military ties with the UK and Europe.

His first stop is France, and he will also visit Great Britain, Italy, the US and Canada – some of the G7 countries with which Japan is strengthening defense ties.

Conversations with Joe Biden

He will discuss the Japan-US alliance at a summit with Joe Biden in Washington.

Japan is moving away from its post-war restraint to take a more offensive role.

Kishida said his talks with Biden on Friday would highlight how the two countries can cooperate more closely under Japan’s new security and defense strategies.

In December, Japan adopted key reforms, including a commitment to a counter-strike capability, marking a departure from the country’s self-defense principle.

Tokyo has said its current deployment of missile interceptors is not enough to defend it against the rapid advance of weapons in China and North Korea.

Kishida said he would give Biden details of a new strategy that also sees Japan bolstering defenses on its southwestern islands near Taiwan, including building new bases.

‘A precious opportunity’

“I believe it will be a valuable opportunity to reaffirm our close cooperation in further strengthening the Japan-US alliance and our joint effort to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

“It will be an opportunity to show the position of Japan and the USA to the international community.”

Mr Kishida also said he hoped to deepen personal relations with other leaders, including Mr Sunak, and discuss “the difficult security environment, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

Under its new strategy, Japan plans to begin deploying, within three years, long-range cruise missiles that can reach potential targets in China.

Within five years, it will almost double its defense budget to around two percent of GDP.

It will also invest heavily in improving its cyberspace and intelligence capabilities.

Tokyo wants to do as much as possible in a short time amid the growing risk that China may take action against Taiwan.

Japan’s moves were well received in Washington by the White House and Congress.

Christopher Johnston, Japan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said: “This is an opportunity to review and update the structure and mechanisms of the alliance to reflect a much more capable partner.

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