United Kingdom marks the deal to be a milestone step towards military cooperation between the two nations.
A military cooperation deal is expected to be signed between Japan and Britain as the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida is on his third stop while he is visiting all its G7 ally countries, with Japan hosting the next G7 summit for the year 2023.
The defense agreement will be signed in a meeting between the leaders of the two nations held at the Tower of London on Wednesday.
Why is the deal considered to be historically significant
The deal is believed to enable smooth military interaction between the two countries including easier deployment of forces and conduct of joint military exercises.
The deal is said to be the next Reciprocal Access Agreement also known as RAA previously made between Japan and Australia last year in January based on Chinese expansion concerns.
In a statement before the meet by the Prime Minister of Britain, Rishi Sunak said, “In this increasingly competitive world, it is more important than ever that democratic societies continue to stand shoulder to shoulder as we navigate the unprecedented global challenges of our time.”
“In the past 12 months, we have written the next chapter of the relationship between the UK and Japan – accelerating, building and deepening our ties.”
“We have so much in common: a shared outlook on the world, a shared understanding of the threats and challenges we face, and a shared ambition to use our place in the world for global good, ensuring our countries prosper for generations to come” said the Prime Minister.
“This Reciprocal Access Agreement is hugely significant for both our nations – it cements our commitment to the Indo-Pacific and underlines our joint efforts to bolster economic security, accelerate our defence cooperation and drive innovation that creates highly skilled jobs” he added.
Other issues to be discussed
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is also expected to be discussed in the latest meet between the two leaders. A trade agreement between 11 countries-Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam in which UK had also placed a request to join in February 2021.
The Global Combat Air Programme
In December 2022 Japan and UK along with Italy had launched a joint programme known as the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) aimed at developing a sixth-generation jet fighter aircraft. The programme would include major multinational companies as contractors from the three nations.
There were discussions over the Reciprocal Access Agreement since May 2022 between the two nations when Boris Johnson held the Prime Minister’s office.
Japan’s far ally
Fumio Kishida also made his first visit to France on January 9. In the meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron, the Japanese Prime Minister said, “France is a leading partner for the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“As unilateral attempts to change by force the status quo in the East and South China Sea intensify and the security environment becomes increasingly tense, we wish to continue to cooperate with France” he added.