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Japan, U.K. set to enhance security cooperation

  • March 24, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 6:57 p.m.
  • English Press

The Japanese and British governments will likely enhance bilateral security cooperation next month by reviewing their “action plan” to include the development of a new type of medium-range missile, among other things, sources said.The two countries are expected to come to an agreement at a “two-plus-two” meeting of their foreign and defense ministers slated for April 8 in Tokyo, the sources said.

 

It will be the first time for Japan and Britain to hold a two-plus-two meeting since December 2017 and the fourth overall.

 

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya are to have talks with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at the meeting, the sources said.

 

The action plan on security cooperation was formulated when Japan and Britain held their third two-plus-two talks in 2017. The action plan includes cooperative measures in a number of fields including those related to technical collaboration in defense equipment and international peace cooperation activities, however, details have not been disclosed. The two nations will review the plan for the first time.

 

Japan and Britain are expected to newly specify in the plan the test-firing of a new type of medium-range missile in fiscal 2023, the sources said.

 

Since 2014, the two countries have been jointly developing a new air-to-air missile, equipped with Japan’s sensor technology, to be carried on state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jets.

 

They also are to confirm that the Ground Self-Defense Force and the British Army will continue joint exercises, the first one of which was held in Japan last year.

 

They are also considering holding their first joint drill using Britain’s aircraft-carrier Queen Elizabeth and the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo-class destroyer, they said.

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