Japan’s defense minister welcomes visit of British aircraft carrier strike group

Japan’s defense minister said Japan welcomes the British government’s announcement to dispatch a “carrier strike group” to Japan and other countries, with the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier as the core. He hopes that the Japanese and British navies will then conduct joint training. He also said Japan “will also work closely with the Netherlands.”

According to Kyodo News, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said at a press conference on April 27 that he welcomed the upcoming visit of the British carrier strike group HMS Queen Elizabeth to Japan. He said that Britain’s dispatch of the carrier battle group to Japan is a demonstration of British involvement at the security level aimed at strengthening the free and open Indo-Pacific, and is a “move to promote regional peace and stability” in Japan-UK cooperation.

Kishi Nobuo also revealed that the Dutch Navy frigates are expected to join the British carrier strike group. He said that Japan “will also work closely with the Netherlands”.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsushin revealed at a press conference that Japan is currently coordinating on joint training matters and is looking forward to “demonstrating the cooperation and solidarity between Japan and the UK at home and abroad.

According to Reuters, the British Embassy in Tokyo said on Monday (26) that the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will lead the Royal Navy fleet through Asian waters, visiting ports in Japan and South Korea.

The high-profile visit by the British carrier is aimed at strengthening security ties in East Asia. It comes at a time of heightened regional tensions.