Anglo-Japan Alliance: new context, old logic.

In an era where global power has shifted eastward, a stable balance in British foreign policy requires a “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific, and as the UK goes about securing a sure footing in the region, it will find no better grounding than by deepening its defence and security relations with Japan. Japan is the only country with the right combination of geographic location, defence capability, techno-economic heft and political affinity as well as stability that fits the bill. It is time for a new Anglo-Japan alliance.

Cries of “imperial nostalgia” or “delusions of grandeur” that arise to assail this move are almost too ironic to bear. They not only miss the point that this “tilt” is about the future, they even misconstrue the lessons of the past. 

One event brandished as a warning from history not to venture back East of Suez is the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales in the ill-fated Z-force that was sent to reinforce Singapore in December 1941. But if you examine this in its proper context, a completely different lesson emerges. 

When the British Empire was near the Victorian zenith of its power, it still recognized that it could only operate in East Asia at the limits of its capability, and so decided to make an alliance with Japan in 1902 to safeguard its interests in Asia. It was only when that alliance broke up two decades later that Britain was forced to face alone the precarious situation that was to lead to its humiliating expulsion from the region. One thing often overlooked today is that the UK returned after WWII, secure once again within the framework of the US-dominated UN system of global security. There it remained to fight victoriously the Cold War in Korea, the “emergencies” and “confrontations” in Malaya and Borneo, then to see the independence of Malaya and the peaceful return of Hong Kong to China. Britain has since quietly continued to contribute to regional security through the Five Power Defence Arrangement (having its 50th anniversary this year), its logistical base in Singapore, and its presence in Brunei. So the lesson we were taught by our old friends in 1941 is not “don’t go East of Suez”, but rather “don’t go alone’. And today the British presence East of Suez is very far from alone.

But there is a second set of ironies – and lessons – to be found in the history of our first alliance with Japan, and the reasons why it ended.

The main source of tension in the 1902-22 Anglo-Japan alliance emerged from the ways Japan and Britain reacted to the rise of Chinese nationalism. While Britain was still preoccupied with fighting WWI, Japan laid down “21 demands” on China that signaled an intention to dominate not just the Chinese administration but also the interests of other powers present in China, including Britain. The irony then was that critics of the alliance in Britain thought it gave Japan a free hand, and in Japan thought it tied their hands. The irony today is that the main factor bringing British and Japanese interests into alignment is China’s attempts to dominate the region at everyone’s expense.

American cartoon satirising Japan’s Twenty-One Demands, 1915. Source.

Another source of tension in the old alliance was British suspicion that the Indian independence movement was receiving clandestine support from elements in Japan promoting an Asian liberation movement for a mix of ideological and strategic reasons. Now the irony is the worldview of India, the UK and Japan have become increasingly closely aligned and there is consequently a rapidly developing security cooperation relationship among them under the logic of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and the so-called “Quad plus” arrangement.

Rash Behari Bose, and his wife Toshiko | Commons

Towards the end of the alliance, one of the nations that objected to the renewal of security ties between Japanese and British Empires was Canada. When the issue was up for consultation at the Imperial Conference in 1921, Canada made clear that it could not be placed into the position where the United States, on which it relied for its security, might go to war with its ally, Japan. Although Australia and New Zealand backed the extension of the alliance, Canada’s veto was critical. Today, Canadian warships and surveillance aircraft are operating together with other “5 eyes” allies Australia, New Zealand, the UK and America (but also with France, South Korea and Japan) in monitoring sanctions violations at sea off North Korea in an operation based out of Yokusuka, Japan.

A Royal Canadian Navy frigate – the HMCS Ottawa – and a Royal Canadian Airforce surveillance aircraft participate in Operation NEON, the multinational effort to enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea, October 2019.
Source: Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces Combat Camera

But the biggest factor in breaking the Anglo-Japan Alliance was America. The United States had come to see Imperial Japan as its main rival and could not tolerate it having the only other global naval power (Great Britain) as its ally. As part of the negotiations to settle global affairs after WWI and against the backdrop of massive British war debt owed to America, Britain felt forced to choose between its old ally and what it hoped would be the new guarantor of world peace. Fast forward a century to 2021, the US navy is now signing trilateral agreements with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces and the Royal Navy. If this is a new kind of Anglo-Japan Alliance, America seems to welcome it.

The causes for the end of our previous alliance were aspects of a single process, which was the transition – catalysed by the emerging dominance of Wilsonian America and the bottom-up rise of nationlaist movements in China and India – from a world order of empires to one of self-determining nation states. In the period that W.H. Auden called “a low dishonest decade”, and the Japanese refer to as their “dark valley”, that order was not underwritten by the commitments of its sponsors, and so proved too weak to keep the peace. The order built in 1945 was based on the same principles but charged by the mighty energies of economically, culturally and technologically dominant America and the support of its allies in the “free world”. Together their commitment and sacrifice sustained it through the turmoil of decolonization and the many challenges of communist aggression from Russia and China. But today as that order is being challenged in turn by the emergence of a large and aggressive rival, middle powers like Japan and Britain are forced to ask themselves once again ‘what is our role in this process?’ Are we bystanders or do we belong in the arena? Some historical lessons should not need to be spelled out, but perhaps this one does. If a nation with the blessings and capabilities of Britain and Japan excuse themselves as mere bystanders, the order that protects them as well as others is over. 

Some argue a middle path – that the role of Britain should be calibrated to its region, and we should leave the Indo-Pacific to America. Again, history suggests that would be a dangerous course. One of the weaknesses of the Anglo-Japan treaty was that although it brought formal recognition to the interests of each party in the Asian region, it cemented a division of labour along regional lines. From the British point of view, the protection Japan gave through the alliance to its interests in Asia was welcome, but the withdrawal of British military capacity from the region that this enabled proved a destabilizing factor. By the time the alliance came to an end in the early 1920s, the dominant trend of world disarmament and arms control agreements (especially limiting ships) meant that British interests East of Malacca were to be left terribly exposed until the coup de grace in January 1942. To argue that the Europeans should “backfill’ security in their neighbourhood to allow their American allies to take care of the Indo-Pacific is to fail to learn the lesson that an alliance is sustained by shared equities, and a geographic division of labour invites a ruinous alienation.

What kind of tilt is needed, and what new type of Anglo-Japan alliance can support it? As described above, the tilt is not an uncontrolled lurch, but an adjustment of posture to secure a balance on shifting ground. Britain will always keep one foot planted firmly in its home region. But now as in the past, maintaining that strong position at home requires some shift of resources to allocate support for an alliance over the horizon, where the sun rises.

Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders (UK Land Force Commander) shakes hands with Japan Ground Self-Defence Force Lieutenant General Yuichi Takada during a joint military drill in Oyama on October 2, 2018. Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP

Public opinion in the UK is generally open to the tilt, judging by a recent survey by the British Foreign Policy Group “UK Public Opinion on Foreign Policy and Global Affairs Annual Survey – 2021”. When asked “what do you think about the notion of an ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’ in the UK’s foreign policy?” more than a third said that the UK’s involvement in the region should be balanced with investments elsewhere, since the Indo-Pacific will be important to global power dynamics and economic growth. That leaves open the question of how many of those believe we have such a balance today, or if such a balance needs more investment towards the East. Even though no policy leader is proposing it, around 8% even responded that the UK should make the Indo-Pacific “the centre of its foreign policy”. So when you sum the support for a balance that allows for the growing importance of the region with those who would go even further than current UK government policy, you find a good amount of support in favor of the tilt. Still, it must be recognized that a significant proportion of those surveyed have yet to make up their minds.

In conclusion, if we are to look to history for lessons now, perhaps these three would be among them – A world order that can deter aggression is a team effort. A geographic division of labour is an invitation to divide and rule. The few countries like the UK who are capable of operating in East Asia should, and can do so productively as part of a multilateral framework. Japan is Britain’s new ally in in that framework.

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Japan, UK, USA Maritime trilateral hardens, details shared commitments.

Chief of Maritime Staff Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, left, First Sea Lord Adm. Tony Radakin, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sign a Trilateral Head of Navy Joint Statement aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08). The trilateral cooperation agreement reaffirms the three countries’ commitment to increased collaboration and cooperation.
(Image: (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Raymond D. Diaz III/Released))

Building on the original 2016 Trilateral Agreement, the three maritime democracies went a step further to detail the type of missions they will cooperate on in the Indo-Pacific:

  • Piracy
  • Maritime Pollution
  • Illicit trade in armaments and narcotics
  • Human trafficking
  • Attempts to circumscribe freedom of navigation

The phrase “routine forward presence” will resonate in the UK defence debate, where there have been questions about the willingness of the UK to return to a military role “East of Suez” and contribute on a decisive scale to security in the Indo-Pacific region. The symbolic value of having this signed on the Royal Navy`s new aircraft carrier is also relevant on this point.

The phrase “we cannot shoulder this burden alone” is striking for what it says about United States policy in the region, where allies have felt US military primacy is declining and its political leadership may have less time for the idea of alliances. This is perhaps a reminder that the US is not against alliances as such, indeed, alliances where allies share burdens are as appreciated as ever.

This is very much an open invitation for “nations that adhere to the international rules based system” to join in a common effort. Note the shared values here do not include “democracy” – so this trilateral can serve as a basis for cooperation with partners (such as Vietnam) who have a different political system, but are “like minded” on the rules based order.

While no adversary is named, it would not be unreasonable to assume the call for “others to responsibly take their place on the world stage in cooperation with regional countries” is directed at the People`s Republic of China.


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Japan Defence Industry debuts at DSEI conference – from UK to Japan

The Defence Industry Conference DSEI normally held in the UK has taken place at Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, on 18-20 November 2019.

Details of the conference are here.

Alex Soar, international development director for Clarion Events which runs DSEI, told Army Technology:

“With DSEI celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, it is the right time to take the event to Japan for the show’s first iteration outside the UK. We have been working Crisis Intelligence, our in-country partners, for four years to shape the exhibition to fit the unique Japanese market and the needs of the Japanese customer. With the reinterpretation of the Japanese constitution several years ago and the relaxation of restrictions on defence imports and exports, we see that it is an appropriate time to offer a new a route to market for those focused on the Asia Pacific region.”

Harry Lye, writing in Army Technology.

The DSEI Japan conference featured two streams organised around five core themes:

  • Combating threats of the new era: measures against space, cyber, and electronic warfare
  • Responding to airborne threats: strengthening air and missile defence capability
  • The freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region: maintaining and enhancing free and open maritime order
  • Technologies and overseas transfer of defence equipment
  • Crisis management and disaster preparedness 

In the sessions speakers form the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force spoke on issues such as freedom of navigation and the Indo-Pacific alongside speakers from the United States, Australia and the UK, including the recently appointed UK Defence Attaché to Japan, Royal Navy Captain Simon Staley (The Freedom of Navigation in the Indo-Pacific Region: Maintaining and Enhancing Free and Open Maritime Order).

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Rugby, War memories and Defence diplomacy – own goal, or shot at a conversion?

British Military Rugby team in front of Yasukuni Shrine, published in The Times 18 September 2019

While in Japan for the The Rugby World Cup, the British Military Rugby team triggered controversy by visiting Yasukuni Jinja, the Shinto shrine that is the focal point for Japanese war remembrance. Those who see Yasukuni as a rallying point for right wing revisionist views of Japan’s history are offended at the insensitivity this implied. Those who take the opposite view, and see Yasukuni as a proper site of remembrance for Japan’s war dead (dating back long before WWII), are offended that the British response appears to take the other side. The handling of the visit left no-one happy.

At a time when the UK and Japanese military and defence communities are moving ever closer in a quasi alliance, it is a regrettable that this kind of diplomatic fumble is still even possible. However tempting it might be to brush it under the carpet, would the UK-Japan relationship actually be better served by taking this as a prompt to think creatively about how War remembrance can be a very strong positive in the relationship between theUK and Japan in future?

The answer is yes. But first, what actually happened?

When the Rugby team posted the above photograph on Twitter showing the team posing in front of the shrine, the publicity this drew a range of responses. As noted in the piece from ABC News, some were favorable, thanking the team for visiting the shrine. Others negative, emphasizing that Yasukuni Jinja is the focus for debate in Japan and the wider region about Japan’s war history. For many, a visit implies an endorsement of revisionist history.

A third take was puzzlement and perhaps disappointment that a UK military team had got into this position without having been made aware of the inevitable reaction. An article in The Times concluded that it was the result of an innocent misunderstanding, quoting UK officials involved in organizing the visit who seemed to confirm this version.

Ensuing coverage referred to it as a ‘gaffe’, ‘very, very naive’, even a ‘diplomatic incident’ and described the UK Ambassador in Japan as giving the team a ‘dressing down’ for their mistake.

The Times: UK military rugby team visit shrine for war criminals in Japan Sept. 18 2019

Daily Mail: UK Armed Forces team makes awkward gaffe by visiting Japanese war criminals shrine 18 Sept. 2019

China Daily : UK military rugby team criticized for visiting Japanese shrine Sept. 20 2019

ABC News: British military rugby team apologizes after visiting controversial shrine for war criminals in Japan Sept. 20 2019

The unfortunate RN Officer involved in organizing the visit is quoted as follows:

It was very, very naive,” Commander Arty Shaw, who organized the visit, told the Times. “The ambassador had a word or two, so we’ve been told not to visit any more shrines, just in case.

What the museum can offer on a personal level is a fascinating journey from their military history to where they are now,” Commander Shaw told the Times. “But we didn’t realize the sensitivity [for] specific nations in particular. We know now.

Apparently sensitive to misunderstandings that might result from this, the website of the UK Embassy in Tokyo then tweeted out (in Japanese) short messages clarifying the following points –

    To date the UK Ambassador in Japan has not directed anyone against visiting shrines.
    In fact, the UK Ambassador himself recently visited Meiji Jingu Shrine with the visiting UK international trade minister, and regularly accompanies many British guests to visit shrines.
    The Embassy expects a lot of British sightseers in Japan for the Rugby World Cup to come into contact with many aspects of Japanese culture, including shrines.
    The UK respects the traditions and culture of Japan.
    The UK government understands that there are various attitudes about paying respects at Yasukuni Shrine.

Britain of all countries should be able to empathize on the delicate area of war memory, and its curdling mixture of guilt and pride. Winston Churchill himself acknowledged that some of the things he had done in war would have put him in a pickle had the result gone the other way. Our armies fighting the Japanese in Bruma took few prisoners, and the horrors of Dresden, Hamburg, and the Atom bomb decision stayed in Winstons thoughts to the end.

Yet today we are allies with Germany, and quasi allies with Japan. This is a pain from an old wound (or nostalgia as the Greeks would say) we can bear together.

What can be taken from this and applied to do better in future?

1. Rather than taking a defensive attitude towards war history, recognize its potential for strengthening the UK-Japan relationship. War memories can form deep emotional connections among veterans. Coming to terms with actions and policies that would be unacceptable today (and leave deep impressions on our relations with other peoples) is the common challenge of all former Imperial powers. Denial and subjective treatment of history widens divides in domestic and international politics. In short, convert a sense of awkwardness and controversy into as a asset in our relationship.

2. Put this into practice by bringing together veterans groups, historians and contemporary service personnel for commemorations, battlefield tours, visits to war memorials, etc., as part of our defence diplomacy. Bring the history into the light, recognizing what has changed, rather than allowing the issue to be twisted and turned to divisive purposes.

3. Get out in front of unnecessary controversies like this one described above and organize formal, contextualized and well communicated visits to sites of significance for visiting defence, sporting and diplomatic parties.

As Japan’s Ambassador to the UK Keiichi Hayashi put it in a speech several years ago:

By mentioning the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, I am not seeking merely to dwell on past glories. Surely we had the tragedy of another war which we fought against each other and have always to squarely face. However, we are now nurturing a new partnership in the defence and security areas, which perhaps we can call a new type of alliance

P.S. this article by Professor Earl Kinmonth (Taisho University) was published on the same story:

“Racist `The Times of London`Article Hits UK Military Rugby Team and RWC2019 Host Country Japan”.

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UK, Japan Foreign Ministers meet on sidelines of ASEAN summit

Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan with the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom, while at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand

On August 1, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, met with the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom, for approximately 60 minutes while at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The overview of the meeting is as follows:

1. Opening Remarks

 Minister Kono congratulated the Foreign Secretary on the assumption of his office and took the opportunity to express his intention to further strengthen Japan’s close relationship with the UK, cooperating on a range of issues including the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific as Japan and the UK has established the closest relationship ever before since the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Foreign Secretary Raab said that cooperation between Japan and the UK is incredibly valuable and expressed his intention to continue to strengthen the relationship.

2. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU

 Minister Kono stressed that the withdrawal process should be conducted in an orderly manner based on an agreement with the EU, stating the importance of minimizing the negative impact on Japanese businesses and the world economy. Minister Kono expressed his strong hopes that the UK can continue to be an attractive destination for investment by Japanese businesses. In response, the Foreign Secretary said that to achieve an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, Prime Minister Johnson will shortly be visiting European countries. He also stated his intention to work hard to fully alleviate the concerns of Japanese businesses.

3. Japan-UK relations

  • (1)Minister Kono and Secretary Raab shared the view to coordinate on planning for the upcoming Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (2+2) to be held early in Japan.
  • (2)Furthermore, both the Minister and the Foreign Secretary also discussed the Japan-UK economic relations including an establishment of a future economic partnership between their two countries after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Minister Kono welcomed the UK’s interest on a possible membership in TPP11 and expressed his intention to continue to support the UK’s effort through information sharing.
  • (3)Minister Kono made a request for cooperation regarding the easing of the EU’s import restrictions on Japanese food and feed from regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and gained the Foreign Secretary’s understanding on the matter.

4. Regional Affairs

  • (1)Minister Kono and Secretary Raab discussed the regional affairs, confirming their intentions to continue close exchanges of opinions.
  • (2)Regarding North Korea, the Minister and Secretary shared the view to continue close cooperation on the complete denuclearization of North Korea. Minister Kono requested the UK’s understanding and cooperation on the immediate resolution of the abduction issue, gaining the UK’s understanding of the Japanese position.

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 日英関係: 新たな時代の新たな同盟

この記事はもともと The British Interest で出版されました

Japan welcomes Gen. Carleton-Smith, Chief of the UK General Staff on a visit to the Japanese Ministry of Defence in Tokyo.

今年、地球の反対側に位置する2つの国が新しい時代に乗り出す。日本は令和の新元号が新たな天皇の即位と共に始まり、英国は欧州連合(EU)からの離脱によって「グローバル・ブリテン」が模索を求められている。しかし、この2つの島国が直面する環境 、即ちアジアにおける権力と摩擦、法の支配や人権などの価値観へ挑戦、そして主要な同盟形態の変容など、似たような状況に直面している。イギリスと日本は、新しい時代が広い世界観を必要とするという認識の下、ロンドンと東京が直面する課題は共有されるであろう。 従って、英国と日本が協力しすることで相互効果を促進する手段として、より緊密な関係を模索することが理にかなっている。

Captain Simon Staley (pictured right), arrived in Japan in September 2014 to liaise with the Maritime Self-Defence Forces and was attached to the headquarters of the Seventh Fleet at Yokosuka Naval Base. He is currently the UK Defence Attache in Tokyo.

新たな日英関係は2012年4月に安倍首相とデービッド・キャメロン首相が共同声明に署名して以来、軍事演習や軍事備品交換とから, 北朝鮮に対する 国連制裁の軍事行動に至るまで協力は進んでいる。 英国と日本は、共通の価値観、共通の同盟国、および同様の軍事力を反映して、それぞれの地域において互いに最も近い安全保障パートナーとして認識し合うようになった。それは「準同盟国」と呼べるレベルであろう。 2012年に関係改善決定して以来、政治的状況は、両国にとってより重要な方法で 新しい形の同盟 を推進してきた。

British troops join forces with Japanese for first time on their soil amid North Korea tensions

英国の視点からすると、欧州連合(EU)離脱の決定は、ロンドンに戦略的利益の分散を再分析させ、アラビア湾からシンガポール、そして東アジアへの地域にもっと注意を払うように促した。英国のインド太平洋への復帰は、1970年代のスエズ東部からの英国の部分的な撤退が欧州共同体の加盟を加速した時と同様に、経済的・戦略的な論理的な方向転換と言える。世界的な動向に関心を示し、主要同盟国である米国の戦略的観点をも反映している。 東京も、日米同盟を通じて、(または他の手段で) 安全保障への貢献を拡大する 必要性をに差し迫られている。 このために日本は補完的な能力、相互運用可能な軍事機器、および自国と協調関係にある外交政策を持つパートナーである。日本が直面する地域的な脅威を考えると、刺激的な状況でさえある。

他の戦略的現象も、英国と日本の共通課題だ。欧州連合 (EU) からの撤退に向け、英国は欧州の安全保障目標を達成するために北大西洋条約機構 (NATO) に焦点を当てる可能性が高い。しかし、グローバル・ブリテンのより広範な利益を犠牲にしてより多くの資源を割り当てる前に、イギリス海峡 向こう側の同盟国 特にドイツ、フランス、イタリア、スペイン)が、彼らの責任を満たすことを期待する時が来た。ウクライナでのロシアの侵略は注意を促し、ヨーロッパの防衛支出の石油タンカーはゆっくりと振り向き始めている。さらに、英国がヨーロッパの防衛にどれだけ貢献すべきかを計算することになると、「プーチンのピーク」と見なされるウクライナとシリアに対するロシアの信頼の表示から直接外挿することは近視眼的であろう。 ロシア軍の資金は、近年のエネルギー価格が高いため、依然として高い水準にある。 化石燃料を避ける世界でロシアの人口統計の長期的な影響と経済改革の達成の難しさを認識するにつれて、モスクワは最近の近代化とヨーロッパ人を不安にさせるような外国での冒険の継続するのが難しくなるだろう。 確かに、イギリスはロシアの挑戦を見過ごすべきではないが、日本のように、古いリスクと現地のリスクを比例させ、新しい、より広い文脈に置く必要がある。

ロシアが深刻な問題を起こす可能性がある場所は、ヨーロッパだけではない。近年、ロシアは、米国主導の世界秩序の拒絶、西洋の価値観への反対、小さな国々が排他的な関心のある分野を主張するための大国の権利を受け入れる必要性の共通の利益に基づいて、中華人民共和国と一致している。 ユーラシア全域のこの新しい中国・ロシアの地政学的軸は、特にトランプ大統領の政権が採用した対立的なアプローチの文脈で、英国の戦略計画の主要な要因として考慮されなければならない。

ユーラシアへの地上介入が英国の利益に役立つシナリオを想像するのは難しいが、 北極とインド太平洋地域の自由な航行と資源へアクセスの権利が危機に瀕しているシナリオは非常に異なる問題です。「グローバル・ブリテン」は、いずれの海洋もロシアや中国の排他的な空間として囲まれることを許すつもりはなく、いずれの場合も、日本は地理的、文化的、外交的優位性に位置づけられる準同盟国として期待しているであろう。

2013年、習近平国家主席が権力を握り、中国はより断固たる道筋を立てるようになった:. フィリピンとの海洋領土紛争に関するICJの判決を無視する様子は、香港の自治を定義する1984年の中英共同宣言ももはや「現実的な意味を持たない歴史的文書」として却下したと理解できる。中国はまた、世界的な投資と建設プロジェクト「一帯一路」を立ち上げ、中国がハイテク製造業の10の主要分野「メイド・イン・チャイナ2025」で支配的になることを確実にするために国家補助金を約束し、南シナ海の争われた島々に軍事施設を設置し、新しい世界秩序の創造者を主張している。その結果、中国は国際法を遵守し続け、他国に対し力を行使しないという約束は、信じられない結果をもたらしている。



UK PM Teresa May inspects crew of JMSDF

ヨーロッパ諸国で地域大国と見なされる一方で、着実にグローバルな課題に取り組む能力を高めている。最近の中東での非国連PKOへの最初の自衛隊派遣に見られるように、日本の軍事機器を外交政策のタブーとしてみる傾向は徐々に弱まっている。今年5月のトランプ氏来日の最後に、安倍首相は、地域と国際社会の平和と繁栄をリードする日米を「真のグローバルパートナー」と述べた。安倍首相はまた、英国と日本が自由で開かれたインド太平洋 構想を実現するめのパートナーとして協力強化をするとを確認した。自由で開かれたインド太平洋  構想は、現在、エネルギー、技術、インフラなどの分野への投資と開発と自由で開かれた社会の価値に結集し、米国と日本の政策における戦略的連携になる途上だ。



  • 英国はインド太平洋地域の政策をより明確かつ公的なものにし、地域の同盟国と協力して、戦略的目標を実現するために、軍事、外交、経済分野における共通の価値観に関する声明と協調を図るべきである。日本との「準同盟」は、新しい時代の高い野望を反映した正式な合意に基づきます。
  • 英国は、環太平洋パートナーシップ(CPTPP)の包括的かつ進歩的な協定 への加盟を求めることによって、共有された経済及び貿易利益を保護するためのメカニズムを強化することができる。英国は日本企業にとってヨーロッパへの入り口として果たしてきた貴重な役割を果たしてきた。既存の外務・防衛大臣の「2+2」会合は、FOIP 戦略における英国のパートナーシップを定義する必要性に基づいて、貿易・投資政策を扱う閣僚を含むように拡張され、より総合的な「3+3」形式になる可能性がある。
  • 英国は日本でイギリス海軍の軍艦を前進させることを検討すべきである。シンガポールやブルネイに新しい英国基地が加なるとの憶測があるが、日本は北朝鮮, 北極海,北太平洋周辺の作戦に向けてより良い立場にある. また、米国第7艦隊と海上自衛隊とのシームレスな統合を促進します。シンガポールやブルネイに比べ、日本は、アジア以外の国々を地域の安全保障条項から除外する考えを表明している中国からの圧力に対しても、それほど敏感ではないかもしれない。

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The British-Japanese relationship: a new era calls for a new alliance

The new online journal The British Interest has an article identifying where the Anglo-Japan (or really UK-Japan) relationship fits into the new era of Reiwa and Global Britain (link).


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“Quad” on the shelf. Meanwhile Japan-UK-US Trilateral of Maritime Democracies sails on.

Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose makes a stop in Tokyo

US Admiral Philip Davidson (head of the Indo-Pacific Command) caused a stir with recent comments on discussions with Indian counterparts regarding the “quad” (a loose security grouping consisting of the Australia, Japan, USA, UK), which suggest that there is not “immediate potential” for it to realize a military dimension.

With perfect timing, another grouping of maritime democracies is poised to show what multilateral military cooperation looks like. From March 14th, Royal Navy type 23 Frigage HMS Montrose joins the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence forces (MSDF) and US Navy for a second sub-hunting exercise (following the one conducted in December 2018) pursuant to the 2016 trilateral maritime agreement.

More details available at the Diplomat, and the website of the US 7th Fleet:

Joining the 7th Fleet aircraft are RN Type 23 frigate, HMS Montrose (F236), Murasame-class destroyer JS Murasame (DD-101), P-1 JMSDF maritime patrol aircraft, and a JMSDF submarine.

HMS Montrose is on a 3 year deployment, which has included duties in the Gulf and UN sanctions enforcement around DPRK. This projection of maritime power is possible due to the UK`s global support infrastructure and an innovative method of rotating crews that allow Royal Navy ships to be active on duty around the globe for extended periods.

Along HMS Montrose` 5,500-mile journey from South America to New Zealand the type 23 Frigate (armed with the newly accepted Sea Ceptor anti-missile missile system intended to provide defence to the UK`s new Aircraft Carriers, that are expected in the region in a couple of years) also spent some time visiting Tahiti – the first time in 15 years a Royal Navy ship has visited the French island chain – 5,000 miles from Japan, 2,500 miles from Auckland. During her time in Tahiti, Montrose honed her air defense skills against a French Guardian Maritime Patrol Aircraft. And the French made use of HMS Montrose, practicing setting down one of their Dauphin helicopters on the flight deck – all before the British warship sailed into the capital Papeete. (detail courtesy of


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Japan welcomes Gen. Carleton-Smith, Chief of the UK General Staff

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Trilateral Japan-UK-US Navy exercise

izumo copy

NHK reported a trilateral exercise involving the helicopter carrier (soon-to-be fixed wing aircraft carrier) Izumo and ships from the Royal Navy and US Navies.

Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force is to conduct its first joint drill with the US and British navies in the Pacific off southern Japan later this week. The MSDF says its largest destroyer, the Izumo, the British Navy’s HMS Argyll, and a US naval vessel will take part in the exercise. In the drill planned for Saturday, personnel will check the roles for each vessel and the procedures for information-sharing based on various scenarios, including conflict situations. The exercise is apparently aimed at showing the partnership among the three countries amid China’s increasing maritime activity. The mid-term defense program, approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, says Japan will actively promote bilateral and multilateral drills. The SDF will be given more opportunities to strengthen its partnerships with the forces of other countries.

A follow-up report is here on Def Post.

Another here in Stars and Stripes.

This gives form to the trilateral naval agreement signed in October 2016 at the Pentagon by the chiefs of all three navies, committing them to “strengthen maritime contributions for achieving mutually desired strategic effects”.

It is not quite the post-World War I “Four Powers Treaty” Britain, France, Japan and USA signed in 1923 in the wake of the Anglo-Japan Alliance (1902-1923), but it is getting there.

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