Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi held a teleconference with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Jan. 14, followed by another with French Defense Minister Florence Parly on Jan. 15. Kishi confirmed with both ministers to enhance defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in the face of China’s aggressive maritime expansion in the East China Sea and South China Sea.
In speaking with Wallace, Kishi welcomed Britain’s plan to send its aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, to East Asia and promised Japan’s support for the deployment. Both defense chiefs agreed to hold “two-and-two” talks among the countries’ foreign and defense ministers in the near future. Kishi also reached agreement with his French counterpart Parly the next day to enhance the two countries’ cooperation including holding two-and-two talks among the Japanese and French ministers at an early opportunity. Kishi and Parly agreed to counter China’s unilateral attempt to change the global status quo.