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3 Royal Navy ships committed to police UN Sanctions on DPRK

The Royal Navy has deployed the amphibious assault vessel HMS Albion to the Pacific in support of UN sanctions on North Korean shipping, making her Britain’s third vessel assigned to the mission.

The frigate HMS Sutherland is already in the area, having docked at the Japanese port of Yokosuka on 11th April to prepare for patrols in the area.

A second frigate, HMS Argyll is also due to join the effort.

“Our armed forces are at the forefront of Global Britain and the deployment of HMS Albion, Sutherland and Argyll demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our international responsibilities and to maintaining peace, security and prosperity in the region”, said Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, to mark HMS Sutherland’s arrival in Japan. (Telegraph)

This represents two significant developments:

  1. The operationalization of defence cooperation agreements built between the UK and Japan over the past decade.
  2. The capacity and political will of the UK to commit the Royal Navy in a virtually continuous presence in the Asia-Pacific proves that it remains one of very few  nations with global maritime reach and influence.
HMS Argyll

HMS Argyll – type 23 Frigate

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HMS Albion – an amphibious warfare ship, Albion carries troops, normally Royal Marines, and vehicles up to the size of the Challenger 2 main battle tank. She can deploy these forces using four Landing Craft Utility (LCUs) and four Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVPs). A flight deck supports helicopter operations. Albion can function as a command ship, and was the Royal Navy flagship between December 2010 and October 2011.

HMS Sutherland

HMS Sutherland – Type 23 Frigate, first circumnavigation of the globe by a Royal Navy ship in 14 years; first ship to receive and fire the updated Seawolf air defence missile system; most rounds fired by a modified 4.5in ‘Kryten’ gun in one day (247 if you were wondering). She is also Britain’s fastest frigate, reaching more than 34 knots (39mph) during trials in 2004.

What next

Submarines – or perhaps they are already there?

If you are going to have a continuous at-sea presence in the region, why not go the extra step and have a RN vessel home-port in Japan permanently?

 

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Damian Flanagan on “The Extraordinary Untold Story of James Bond and Japan”

If you want to know more about Dr. Damian Flanagan, you may be interested in this link.

A Japan Times article on the same subject can be read here.

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Global Britain’s Alliance with Japan: Remember Nomonhan

Nomonhan
Two recent publications in the East-West Center Asia Pacific Bulletin series look at how the UK and Japan might continue to develop their “alliance” in future. Reading them produces an echo of the strategic challenge both – as island nations – must historically face: trade-offs and tensions between commitments that must be made towards both  continental and oceanic security partners.
For the UK the Continent means (mostly) the EU, and there is now work to be done re-designing UK-EU security cooperation for the post-Brexit era. The Atlantic alliance has for recent generations resolved the choice of ocean and continent for the UK, but the ‘pivot’ of US attention to Asia (defined not by recent US policy initiatives, but by long term geo-economic trends in Europe as well as Asia) will dislodge NATO centrality in UK defence and security policy. British efforts to revive defence cooperation with Japan is itself part of the response to those trends.

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「新日英同盟」軍事的急接近の背後にあるものとは 英識者が指摘するニーズの一致

link (Japanese language)

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UK-Japan move closer with British Army / Japan Ground Self-Defence Forces exercising together in Japan in 2018

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Having exercised in sea and air domains, and cooperated in cyber in preparation for the coming Olympic games, the UK-Japan “semi-alliance” (Asahi) will soon be cooperating across the full spectrum with land forces exercising together in Japan.

In what has become a regular fixture in the diplomatic calendars, the third UK and Japanese government 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers meeting took place on 14 December in Greenwich Naval College, London (link).

During the meeting, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that Continue reading

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UK-Japan joint development of air-to-air missile: prototype by 2018

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November 30, 2017 · 7:44 pm

Japan, Britain to deepen “alliance” with new Visiting Forces Agreement

The Japan News reports

Japan and Britain are considering beginning talks next year to conclude a visiting forces agreement (VFA), which would foster smooth activities of the Self-Defense Forces and the British military when they are visiting either nation

VFAs establish the legal status of foreign forces temporarily visiting a nation’s territory for joint exercises, disaster-relief missions and other activities.

 

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