Tokyo/London: Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi visited the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on Monday. The British aircraft carrier is currently on a tour of Japan. On Monday, HMS Queen Elizabeth visited the Japanese port of Yokosuka for the first time. This time, the Japanese Defence Minister said it was important for European countries to pay more attention to the region, noting the growing threat posed by China.
Over the past few years, China’s expansionist activities have intensified, and an aggressive strategy is being implemented to increase its influence over the entire Pacific region, including the South China Sea and the East China Sea. The United States has taken the initiative to counter Chinese aggression and called on its allies in the Indo-Pacific region and Europe to be more proactive. Since then, countries like France, Germany and Britain have signalled an increase in their movement in the Indo-Pacific.
These countries have also announced separate policies for it, signalling defence deployment, raising the issue of Freedom of Navigation. As part of that, the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently in the Indo-Pacific region and visited the Japanese port of Yokosuka on Monday. This is the first time a British aircraft carrier has given a port call at a Japanese port. Before visiting the port, HMS Queen Elizabeth has reportedly conducted naval exercises in the Indo-Pacific region with the United States, South Korea and Japan.
‘The Chinese regime is trying to change the status quo in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. European countries have taken cognisance of this, and this matter is important. The attention paid by other countries will help bring peace and stability to the region. The visit to British aircraft carrier could play a key role in developing defence cooperation between Japan and the United Kingdom,’ said Nobuo Kishi, the Japanese defence minister. Julia Longbottom, British ambassador to Japan, was also present.
A high-level delegation, including British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, visited Japan in July. At the time, Britain had announced increased defence cooperation with Japan. Both participation in the exercise with the Japanese navy and the port call of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth are considered a part of this growing cooperation.