Under the Hiroshima Accord, Britain will deploy its Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025…reports Asian Lite News
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will sign a new agreement to deepen security ties, including a UK commitment to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025.
The so-called “Hiroshima Accord” will also cover trade and investment, collaboration on science and technology and joint initiatives to tackle global issues such as climate change, according to a statement from Sunak’s office released ahead of the signing in Hiroshima on Thursday.
“The Hiroshima Accord will see us step up cooperation between our armed forces, grow our economies together and develop our world-leading science and technology expertise,” Sunak said. “It marks an exciting next phase in the UK and Japan’s flourishing partnership.”
Under the agreement, the United Kingdom will deploy its Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025, and double troop numbers in upcoming joint military exercises.
The two countries will also agree on a formal “Consult Clause”, under which the UK and Japan commit to consult each other on important regional and global security issues and consider measures in response.
London and Tokyo are deepening ties amid heightened tensions in the Asia Pacific over North Korea’s advancing weapons programme and China’s increasingly assertive positions on issues such as Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea, which it claims almost in its entirety.
In January, Japan announced plans to strengthen security ties with the United States amid concerns about China, which the two countries said posed an “unprecedented” threat to international order. Japan is also part of the Quad security alliance with Australia, India and the US.
Japan and the UK will stage the joint Vigilant Isles military exercises in Japan later this year. It is the fourth time the drills are being held and about 170 UK personnel are scheduled to take part, including from the 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and 16 Air Assault Brigade.
The UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and its flotilla of Royal Navy ships made its maiden voyage to the region in 2021, travelling via India, Singapore and the South China Sea to South Korea and Japan.
In 2025, the fleet is expected to work alongside the Japanese Self Defence Forces and other regional partners “to help defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific”, the statement said.
The new accord will also include science and technology programmes to support UK-Japan collaboration between universities and companies, the rapid development of green technologies and a Semiconductors Partnership.
The UK has been looking to deepen relationships with countries outside Europe after leaving the European Union, the world’s biggest single market.
As part of the new Accord, the UK and Japan will launch a Semiconductors Partnership, with new commitments to pursue ambitious R&D cooperation and skills exchange, strengthening our domestic sectors and bolstering supply chain resilience in an increasingly competitive market.
Later on Thursday, the Prime Minister will host a reception of key Japanese business leaders in Tokyo to reiterate the importance of our trade and investment relationship. He is expected to confirm billions of pounds of new job creating investments in the UK.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “It is a privilege to be visiting Tokyo and Hiroshima at this historic moment in the United Kingdom’s relationship with Japan. Prime Minister Kishida and I are closely aligned on the importance of protecting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and defending our values, including free and fair trade.”
The Hiroshima Accord will see us step up cooperation between our armed forces, grow our economies together and develop our world-leading science and technology expertise. It marks an exciting next phase in the UK and Japan’s flourishing partnership.
The fourth UK-Japan joint ‘Vigilant Isles’ military exercises, taking place in Japan later this year, will be the biggest yet with around 170 UK personnel taking part, including from the 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and 16 Air Assault Brigade.
The UK will confirm today that its Carrier Strike Group will return to the Indo-Pacific in 2025, following its maiden voyage to the region in 2021. The fleet, comprised of an aircraft carrier, her escorts and her aircraft, will work alongside the Japanese Self Defence Forces and other regional partners to help defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
As part of the defence agreements under the Hiroshima Accord, the Prime Minister is expected to agree a new Cyber Partnership with Japan. This will deepen UK-Japan cooperation on cyber and set a high level of ambition for the future relationship, with Fujitsu UK joining the National Cyber Security Centre’s Industry 100, and the UK and Japan piloting a new Japan Cyber Security Fellowship to develop future cyber leaders.