UK, Japan sign defense deal amid rising concern about China

Jan 10, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 9:38 am
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, center, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, next to him...

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, center, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, next to him, arrive at the Tower of London, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The leaders of Britain and Japan are signing a defense agreement on Wednesday that could see troops deployed to each others’ countries. (Carl Court/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Carl Court/Pool Photo via AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — The leaders of Britain and Japan signed a defense agreement Wednesday that could see troops deployed to each others’ countries.

The two countries are strengthening military ties amid growing concern about China’s increasing military assertiveness and designs toward Taiwan, which it considers a renegade province.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida formally signed the agreement in the symbolic setting of the Tower of London fortress. The British government said the it “cements our commitment to the Indo-Pacific” region.

“The relationship between our two countries is stronger than ever, not just across trade and security, but also our values,” Sunak told his Japanese counterpart.

Kishida, referring to the importance of security and cooperation between Japan and the U.K., said he hoped he and Sunak would have a “strategic discussion.”

The Reciprocal Access Agreement, Japan’s first defense agreement with a European nation, allows the two Group of Seven countries to hold joint military exercises. The deal had been in the works for years and was discussed when Kishida visited then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London in May.

The British government said it will allow the armed forces of the U.K. and Japan “to plan and deliver larger and more complex military exercises and deployments.”

The agreement reflects a new “Indo-Pacific tilt” in Britain’s foreign policy following the country’s departure from the European Union in 2020. Britain sees Japan as its key East Asian ally.

“In this increasingly competitive world, it is more important than ever that democratic societies continue to stand shoulder to shoulder as we navigate the unprecedented global challenges of our time,” Sunak said.

During their meeting at the Tower of London, a 1,000-year-old former palace and prison that houses the Crown Jewels, the leaders viewed Japanese armor presented to King James in 1613 by Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada of Japan to mark the first-ever trade agreement between England and Japan.

Japan has joined Western nations in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Moscow. Japan also has supplied Ukraine with helmets and other non-lethal military aid.

Japan is concerned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could have an impact in East Asia, where China’s military has grown increasingly assertive and threatened to unite with Taiwan by force if necessary.

Concerned about rapid weapons advancement in China and North Korea, Japan in December adopted key security and defense reforms, including a counterstrike capability that makes a break from the self-defense-only principle it has maintained since its defeat in World War II.

Japan holds the presidency of the G-7 this year, and Kishida is on a weeklong trip to visit allies including Italy, France, Canada and the United States, where he is due to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Puyallup man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility.
23 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Associated Press

Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
23 hours ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Asian shares fall in muted trading ahead of Fed meeting

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly fell in muted trading Tuesday as investors awaited decisions on interest rates and earnings reports from around the world. Traders were awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, expected on Wednesday. They also were watching for indicators on the Chinese economy, the region’s key engine for growth. […]
23 hours ago
Private and home school students, their parents and advocates crowed part of the second floor of th...
Associated Press

‘School choice’ is culture-war focus for Kansas lawmakers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republican legislators in Kansas are focusing on helping conservative parents remove their children from public schools over what’s taught about gender and sexuality rather than pursuing a version of what critics call Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. A proposal to allow parents to use state tax dollars to pay for […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Actor Alec Baldwin attends a news conference at United Nations headquarters, on Sept. 21, 20...
Associated Press

Deadline nears for Alec Baldwin in deadly movie set shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors planned to file felony charges of involuntary manslaughter Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal on the set of a Western movie in 2021. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded at a film set ranch on the outskirts of […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It’s delivering its final 747 jumbo jet. Since its first flight in 1969, the giant yet graceful 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, a transport for NASA’s space shuttles, and the Air Force One […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UK, Japan sign defense deal amid rising concern about China