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Empire Comes Back? UK Presses for Larger Military Presence in Asia

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In a fresh exhange of courtesies, the British Minister of Defense has announced plans to become closer with the Japanese militarily. In response, the Japanese called the UK ‘a global power’.

Michael Fallon, UK’s Defense Secretary, paid Japan a visit on Saturday, meeting his local counterpart, the Japanese Minister of Defense, Gen Nakatani. On the occasion, Fallon discussed enhancing military cooperation with the Land of the Rising Sun.

“Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and I want to significantly deepen defense cooperation between our two nations,” Fallon stated. “We will do that through joint exercises, reciprocal access to our military bases, military personnel exchanges and cooperation on equipment, including a new air-to-air missile.”

A joint exercise involving RAF Typhoon fighter jets in 2016 is regarded one of possibilities, a MoD online statement read. The anti-aircraft missile mentioned by Fallon is a new-generation design dubbed Joint New Air-to-Air Missile. Another area of cooperation is cyber-warfare – a joint UK-US-Japan project involving cyber-exercises is to be launched this year, as the MoD stayed.

​The host nation praised the UK for its noticeable come-back to the region, on the side of Tokyo and Washington.

“[T]he UK reaffirmed its commitment to its presence as a global power,” said Nakatani. “The SDSR (UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015) highlighted Japan as the closest security partner in Asia, and I highly regard this statement.”

Disputes around the South China Sea and concerns over the North Korean nuclear arsenal have brought the two nations together.

“We have created a foundation with Britain, which upholds rules-based international order, to jointly raise our voices and cope,” Japan Times quoted him as saying.

Fallon, for his part, welcomed an increased involvement of Japan into activities of the NATO alliance.

Reports suggesting Japan is considering taking part in a NATO missile consortium, that appeared this summer, seen by many as another step in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy of increasing defense cooperation. Since returning as PM in late 2012, Abe has overseen a number of research-and-development and production cooperation projects with countries such as the US, UK, France and Australia by lifting Japan’s decades-long self-imposed arms export ban.

The ban, based on three principles, previously prohibited Tokyo from exporting arms to communist states, states involved in conflict or those subject to UN embargoes.

​If Japan does join the NATO consortium, it would increase the alliance’s influence beyond Western Europe and North America, with NATO recently bulking up its Eastern European military resources to combat the perceived threat of Russia.

The Japanese Cabinet approved a record high 5.05-trillion-yen ($42 billion) draft defense budget for 2016, local media reported late last year. Japan’s lower house of parliament last summer approved highly controversial legislation — tabled by Abe — that could see troops sent abroad to fight for the first time since World War Two.

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United Kingdom, visit, cooperation, partners, allies, commitments, meeting, Japan's Defense Ministry, UK Ministry of Defence, Gen Nakatani, Michael Fallon, Japan
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  • Without US UK would be what it really is - a local power (within its borders).
  • allperils
    Japan is allying up with the wrong countries. Imagine an alliance of Russia China and Japan. Russia's natural resources and weaponry, China's consumer market, Japan's technological prowess.

    Perhaps that is why some countries are trying to keep Japan closer...

    However, IMO, it's useless. At the end of the day, whoever controls Eurasia, controls the World. The peripheral countries would only be looking hungrily from the outside.
  • buckwheatisback
    The UK as a Global power, I got a good laugh out of that one. With massive US support/supplies they would have never retook the Falkland Islands, there days as a global power were dashed back in 1941 when the Japanese drove them out of the Pacific and almost out of India. The UK armed forces is barely big enough to protect the home country, the only thing that saved them from Hitler was the then Royal navy and radar towers, now they don't even have a creditable navy to speak of anymore.
  • hopscotch64
    I thought Xi was just in Briton making mega business deals with the British plutocrats?? This is just another example of China shooting itself in the foot yet again. So, China will invest in Briton billions of dollars to bolster the British economy and Briton for it's part will send it's military to Japan to contain and make war on China. Sounds reasonable to me. China is financing the NATO countries so the US/NATO alliance can destroy China. China is like the naïve child in world politics who keeps getting the candy taken away from them by the bullies and seems to enjoy it, as they keep making the same mistakes over and over. I have to tell you China just looks ridiculous to the world.
  • in reply tobuckwheatisback(Show commentHide comment)
    buckwheatisback, well even though I agree with you I would like to add one little correction re Hitler. I may be wrong and I am sure there are others who know this better but from my memory the real reason why Hitler has not succeeded conquering UK was his invasion on Russia. Hitler had something like 119 divisions with 110 of them engaged in the East and only "second-grade divisions" were sent to the West. If he had not invaded Russia Europe today would be the Third Reich.
  • tanaka masayoshi
    dont come back any more old empire. they are just rothchild military. silly japan gov is still puppet of zionist which is a sinking titanic now.
  • michael
    even with the NDF NATO's lines are going to be stretched pretty thin.
  • simonfilimonin reply tohopscotch64(Show commentHide comment)
    hopscotch64, you are right! But perhaps China has a Plan B for all this. We need to remember that China's economy is embedded in just about any financial market in the World. US/Jap/Brit knows well that the rapid growth of China's financial muscle and military power cannot be destroyed or rolled back. NATO and Jap can only contained China, or at least try too. No other country in the world, except for some corrupt/killer ME monarchs, are making islands: and that’s no easy task. China has been building massive islands to position itself militarily and economically—and this development is much closer to China's backyard than the EU countries and US. Any military adventure taking place by these thugs, come with a huge price tag: wars aren't free.
    You have a very good point and I would stretch your logic to Russia and Japan over the Kuril Islands too. Russia cannot allow itself to be drawn to lies by Abes gov. Jap behavior is clearly one that needs to be analyzed from a mile away, and for them to never be trusted anymore. With this development taking place, I see no reason for Jap politicians visit Moscow to discus the Kurli Islands. Putin needs to shake the Jap hands, thank them for coming, and shred their proposals. Otherwise, the minute they get an inch of the Kurli Islands, the Japs will most definitely installed military installations at the request of their masters: US.
  • professor.hornblow
    British military power is considerably limited without an aircraft carrier. The Queen Elizabeth now under construction will have to be modified to accommodate the yet to be commissioned F35, which is itself suffering many teething troubles.The UK also doesn't have any airforce bases in the Far East. But the US has 10 airforce bases in the UK. Work that one out.
  • hopscotch64in reply tosimonfilimon(Show commentHide comment)
    simonfilimon, I guess there could be an underlying plan to buy their way to victory in the geo political struggle however the leadership of China are novices compared to Briton and the United States. I rather think China naïvely believes that if enough reforms are instituted in the economy that the west will accept a successful Socialist state. This is pure fantasy. The West views China's success as a threat to the status quo plutocracy one percent. A successful China may start the comatose western public to start questioning the dog eat dog Capitalist system of oppression and war waking them up from their coma. The West has so far been brilliant about sucking up China's wealth via treasury notes and investments to continue financing their horrific war machine. The fact is that Socialism in any form
    is totally unacceptable to the Western power elites. The West must defeat not China but the CPC opening the door for Western corporate political and economic domination.
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