Tokyo: Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters Queen Elizabeth Aircraft carriers and escort ships sail by sea in September for Japan where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.
The high-profile visit plans by the Carrier Strike Group come as London deepens security ties with Tokyo, which in recent months have expressed growing alarm over China’s territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan.
In a joint announcement in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Following the inaugural deployment of Strike Group, the United Kingdom will permanently deploy two ships to the region from the end of this year. ”
The British embassy in Tokyo did not immediately respond when asked from which port Royal Navy ships in the region would operate.
After reaching Japan, Kishi said, Queen Elizabeth And its escort ships would be split for separate port calls for US and Japanese naval bases along the Japanese archipelago.
A close US ally, Japan hosts the largest concentration of US military forces outside the United States, consisting of ships, aircraft, and thousands of Marines.
The British carrier, which is carrying an F-35B stealth jet on its maiden voyage, will dock at Yokosuka, home of Japan’s Fleet Command and USS. Ronald Reagan, the only forward-deployed American aircraft carrier.
Queen Elizabeth It is being escorted by two destroyers, two frigates, two auxiliary ships and ships from the United States and the Netherlands.
It would arrive in Japan via the South China Sea, parts of which are claimed by China and Southeast Asian countries, with stops in India, Singapore and South Korea.
In another sign of Britain’s growing regional engagement, Wallace, who traveled to Japan with a delegation of military commanders, said Britain would eventually deploy a Maritime Response Group, which would undertake missions including evacuation and counter-terrorism operations. There is a unit of Marines trained to accomplish this.