In a statement released by the Ministry of Defence on 28 September, it was revealed that the UK and Japan have agreed to commence formal negotiations on a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA). As the UK seeks to engage more with the Indo-Pacific region—set out in the Integrated Review in March—this agreement will assist with that goal, and enable the two countries to deepen their defence ties.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Japan is Britain’s close security partner in Asia, with shared values and common strategic interests. This sends a clear signal about our determination to deepen bilateral defence cooperation and the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region”.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Deepening defence ties with Japan is an important part of our commitment to ensuring an open and secure Indo-Pacific and a clear demonstration of Global Britain in action.
“Our two island democracies believe in the same fundamental freedoms and a strong economic and security partnership with Japan is crucial to Britain’s long-term interests”.