UK Carrier Strike Group flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth to arrive in Japan

Look out China, Carrier Strike Group has a busy Autumn in the Indo-Pacific

HMS Queen Elizabeth. Image: Wikipedia

The flagship of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment (CSG21), aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, will visit Japan from this weekend.

“The visit will be a powerful demonstration of the UK’s close and enduring partnership with Japan and the UK’s commitment to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region,” the government said.

The visit is part of the maiden operational deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth. The period in and around Japan will reinforce the UK’s commitment to a resilient international order in which open societies based on shared values grow prosperity and champion free trade.

UK Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom said, “The visit to Japan of HMS Queen Elizabeth and other UK vessels of the Carrier Strike Group is a confident embodiment of the close and deepening relationship between the UK and Japan.

“The UK is committed to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and as a like-minded democracy is committed to working with Japan to meet shared global challenges, such as cyber security and climate change, and to ensure the global systems that promote the free flow of trade and knowledge are strengthened.

“The UK-Japan relationship has a long history. We believe this visit marks the elevation of our defence and security relationship to a new level,” she added.

The visit is also an important component of the UK’s renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific, outlined in the Integrated Review. The UK is committed to advancing security, defence and development cooperation with Japan, on the basis of a shared outlook on freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as free trade.

In August, the ships and aircraft of the CSG21 undertook multinational joint exercises with global allies, including the Japanese Self Defence Forces and US Forces Japan. The exercises were designed to build interoperability between like-minded international partners in this globally significant region of the world.

The CSG21 will continue with a programme of bilateral maritime and air exercises with Japan’s Self Defence Forces over the next few weeks. Royal Navy ships from the CSG21, HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, also visited the Japanese port of Sasebo last month.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.