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 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. 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.
UK Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom said:
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.
Whilst in the region, the deployment will also support a range of engagements that promote the UK’s wider international priorities in 2021 as Chair of the G7, as champion of Global Girls Education and as host for the UN Climate Summit (COP26) in November. All activities will be conducted safely and securely and in accordance with the stringent Covid-19 prevention measures of the Royal Navy and compliant with those set by the Japanese government.
UK Defence Attaché to Japan, Captain Simon Staley said: