United Kingdom

Britain shows off Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to anxious Japan

Reuters
Britain shows off Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to anxious Japan

A view of the British Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan September 6, 2021.

Kiyoshi Ota/Pool via REUTERS

Japan is trying to broaden security cooperation beyond its US ally to try to help it reign in Chinese influence it believes threatens the region

Britain showed off its HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to Japan’s defense chief on Monday, September 6, at a naval base near Tokyo, marking the start of a permanent military presence in a region trying to come to grips with China’s growing power.

Japan’s defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, and senior Japanese military commanders were shown round the carrier, walking between F-35B stealth fighters on the deck as Royal Navy officers explained how the jets launched from the ramp at the bow.

“One of the purposes of this deployment is to signal the start of a commitment,” Commodore Steve Moorhouse told a briefing on the $4.15 billion ship. “The prominence of this region is rising significantly.”

Japan, which also plans to fly short-takeoff and vertical-landing F-35Bs from two converted helicopter carriers, is trying to broaden security cooperation beyond its US ally to try to help it reign in Chinese influence it believes
threatens the region, including the independence of Taiwan.

Japan, in a recent defense strategy paper, identified neighboring China as its main national security threat and said it has a “sense of crisis” regarding Taiwan as Chinese military activity around the island intensifies.

Must Read

Japan’s defense ministry seeks fresh hike in military spending

Japan’s defense ministry seeks fresh hike in military spending

“The visit of the British carrier strike group holds great significance, to maintain and strengthen a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kishi told reporters after his visit to the Queen Elizabeth.

Joined by US and Dutch ships

A close US ally, Japan hosts the biggest concentration of US military forces outside the United States, including the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, aircraft and thousands of Marines.

China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province, says its intentions in the region are peaceful.

Britain shows off Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to anxious Japan

Leading two destroyers, two frigates, a submarine and two support ships, the Queen Elizabeth set sail from Britain in May and has sailed through waters including the contested South China Sea, of which China claims 90%, before arriving in Japan on Saturday, the furthest port call on its maiden deployment.

It has been joined by a US destroyer and a frigate from the Dutch navy, and is also carrying US F-35Bs, which fly alongside British stealth jets.

After the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group returns, two warships will continue the British presence in the region, as London looks for a bigger world presence following its departure from the European Union.

While docked in Yokosuka, which is the home of the USS Ronald Reagan, Washington’s only forward deployed carrier, the Queen Elizabeth will also host visits from executives from leading Japanese companies as post-Brexit Britain looks to drum up business deals. – Rappler.com

$1 = 0.7230 pounds

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.