Defence collaboration with Japan to increase

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to announce a significant step up in cooperation with Japan to work on defence and counter terrorism.

Following the recent missile launch over Japanese land by North Korea, the UN Security Council members will seek a ‘a peaceful solution to the North Korean problem’, whilst ‘ensuring the rigorous implementation of sanctions against the North Korean regime’.

The proposed ‘Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation’ will include the deployment of HMS Argyll to Japan in December 2018 and plans for UK troops exercising jointly with their Japanese counterparts next year - a first for non-US troops on Japanese soil.

In addition to the defence plans, the two countries will agree much improved information-sharing and will strengthen cooperation on aviation security and tackling violent extremism, as well as an agreement to cooperate on cyber security ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and share best practice and expertise, including through an exchange of expert visits.

As part of her visit to the country, May will also attend a meeting of the Japanese National Security Council in Tokyo – becoming only the second ever foreign leader to do so.

Speaking at the council, the Prime Minister will say: “It is a great honour to be invited to attend this meeting of Japan’s National Security Council. As two outward-facing countries with many shared priorities and shared challenges, Japan remains a natural partner for us on defence and security issues.

“I am determined that our defence and security cooperation will continue to go from strength to strength, enhancing our collective response to threats to the international order and to global peace and security, through increased cooperation on defence, cyber security, and counter-terrorism. And that must include confronting the threat that North Korea poses and ensuring the regime stops its aggressive acts.”

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