British forces are expected to conduct land-based exercises in Japan later in the year.
Nia Griffith Shadow Secretary of State for Defence asked via a written question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2018 to Question 123796, which joint exercises with Japan he plans the UK to participate in over the next two years.”
Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence answered:
“We are developing plans for Royal Navy ships to participate in bilateral exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force during their respective deployments to East Asia in 2018.
We also plan to participate in a land-based exercise in Japan in October 2018 with elements of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.
These exercises deliver on a 2017 commitment made by the UK and Japanese Prime Ministers to conduct joint training and exercises.”
Theresa May earlier told Japan that the UK will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with them over the threat from North Korea. The prime minister was in Tokyo where she announced an increase in mutual cooperation over defence and cyber-security.
“The prime minister told Prime Minister Abe that the UK stood shoulder to shoulder with Japan in facing North Korean aggression,” the spokeswoman said.
“The prime minister also discussed the importance of the show of unity at the UN security council last night in speaking with one voice against North Korean aggression.
She added: “Prime Minister Abe and the prime minister agreed that it was important to send a powerful message to North Korea that it won’t be tolerated.”
“As two outward-facing countries with many shared priorities and shared challenges, Japan remains a natural partner for us on defence and security issues.
I am determined that our defence and security co-operation will continue to go from strength to strength, enhancing our collective response to threats to the international order and to global peace and security, through increased co-operation on defence, cyber security, and counter-terrorism. And that must include confronting the threat that North Korea poses and ensuring the regime stops its aggressive acts.”