TOKYO (Reuters) – The British Navy’s flagship amphibious assault ship HMS Albion arrived in Tokyo on Friday extending Britain’s naval presence in East Asia to 4 months as London deepens navy ties in a area it considers important to global safety and financial prosperity because it exits the European Union.
HMS Albion, a British Royal Navy amphibious assault ship, arrives at Harumi Pier in Tokyo, Japan August three, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
The 22,000-tonne warship, the most important Royal Navy ship to go to Japan in 26 years, docked in Tokyo the place it’s going to conduct ship excursions for most of the people, Japanese officers, and defence trade executives. An onboard contingent of round 120 Royal Marines will prepare with Japanese Self-Defence Force troops together with joint landings with new Japanese marine items on a seaside close to Mount Fuji.
“Our visit here is a testament to the global reach of the navy, a very global Britain and of course is aimed at building at our bonds with Japan,” Captain Tim Neild, the Albion’s commander, stated at a briefing after his ship docked at a wharf surrounded by development cranes constructing the athletes’ village for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As Asia drives global financial development and Brexit approaches, Britain has sought nearer financial ties with the area’s largest economic system, China, but in addition deeper safety ties with Japan.
With its ally the United States, Japan represents the strongest test on China’s affect within the area, together with its rising management over the contested South China Sea by the development of island bases on submerged reefs.
Japan for its half needs to cooperate extra with different potential allies past the United States as a part of an even bigger regional safety function as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government steps again from a submit World War Two pacifist structure that has barred using navy pressure abroad.
London and Tokyo have been holding common conferences between their overseas and defence ministers since 2015, and are additionally discussing cooperation to collectively develop new navy equipment.
At a press briefing earlier than the Albion’s go to to Tokyo, Paul Madden, the British ambassador to Japan, stated the backdrop to rising cooperation was “the tensions on the Korean peninsula as well as wider challenges to the rules-based international system”.
The Albion was earlier docked at close by Yokosuka, which is home to the USS Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s provider, and has patrolled waters round North Korea as a part of operations to implement U.N. sanctions meant to steer Pyongyang to desert its nuclear and missile programmes.
The Albion, which changed the British frigate HMS Sutherland, will hand over to HMS Argyll, one other frigate, when it leaves East Asia across the begin of subsequent month for naval workout routines within the Middle East.
Its journey west will take it by the South China Sea, a significant waterway for sea-borne global commerce that’s claimed by China and partly by a number of Southeast Asian nations.
The United States has challenged Beijing’s management there by sending struggle ships near Beijing’s island bases by seas it says should stay open to worldwide site visitors.
“The United Kingdom subscribes to the rules based system, as does Japan and many other countries, and we are committed to upholding that system wherever we operate on the high seas,” stated Neild when requested about China’s maritime actions within the South China Sea and East China Sea.
Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Nick Macfie