Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)–British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom has said that the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first port call at Japan demonstrated her country’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.
The British cutting-edge aircraft carrier’s visit to the U.S. Navy’s Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, is “an unmistakable and confident demonstration” of Britain’s “commitment to the Indo-Pacific and to investing in our partnership with Japan,” Longbottom said.
She spoke from aboard the Queen Elizabeth in an online press conference held by the Japan National Press Club on Tuesday.
In March, the British government in its integrated review of foreign and security policy announced its “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific region, with China’s growing maritime assertiveness there in mind.
Longbottom said that Japan and Britain are “the closest of friends” that share values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and free trade.
She voiced her hopes that the joint drills between the carrier strike group led by the Queen Elizabeth and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will further enhance interoperability.
“The carrier strike group is at immediate readiness to respond to contingency” in the area, said Cdre. Steve Moorhouse, who commands the group.
Moorhouse, who also spoke from the Queen Elizabeth, hinted that military actions may be taken in the event that China makes a military advance on Taiwan.