Japan, UK Renew Security Ties

Image copyright: Al Jazeera

The Facts

  • The UK and Japan have signed a new agreement, called the Hiroshima Accord, that is focused on strengthening security ties between the two countries and promoting economic and technological cooperation. The news comes as the UK also committed this week to deploying aircraft carriers to the Indo-Pacific in 2025.

  • The Hiroshima Accord was formally agreed on Thursday between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in advance of the start of the G7 summit, which is being held, this year, in the city famously devastated by an atomic bomb in World War II.


The Spin

Anti-China narrative

The UK's relationship with Japan has deepened and strengthened at a very fast pace, reflecting Japan's pivotal role in the Indo-Pacific and its centrality to Britain's security and prosperity. In recent months, Britain has joined the CPTPP trade bloc, launched the UK-Japan-Italy Global Combat Air Programme, and signed a ground-breaking defense Reciprocal Access Agreement. As a show of military importance, the UK will send its Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025 to help defend peace and stability in this strategically important region.

Pro-China narrative

The UK's global influence has been in decline for some time. While Britain still possesses a range of capabilities, it is nowhere near as powerful as it once was. Britain remains relevant only because it can hitch a ride on US hegemony. London has lost its trust and markets in Europe since exiting the EU, forcing it to seek new opportunities in booming economies such as those in the Indo-Pacific region. The UK is boosting its presence in Asia in an attempt to prove it is still relevant in world affairs.

Nerd narrative

There is a 1% chance that there will be a deadly clash between Japanese and Chinese armed forces before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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