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New article here in the Council on Geostrategy
RUSI Global Security Briefing Podcast Episode 33
21 September 2022
48 Minute Listen
Japan is looking to play a larger role in global security as the country faces new external threats. It is increasing commitments to national defence and seeking to move beyond key political and constitutional constraints placed on the country’s security policies after the Second World War.
Philip Shetler-Jones, a James Cook Associate Fellow in Indo-Pacific Geopolitics at the Council on Geostrategy, is our guest for this episode. He discusses with Dr Neil Melvin, Director, International Security Studies at RUSI, how Japan is responding to the growing military confrontation in the Indo-Pacific region. Increased defence spending, new roles for the Japanese military, and a revised foreign and security policy that includes remaking Japan’s defence alliances are all considered.
Geostrategy360° is the Council on Geostrategy’s weekly podcast. Hosted by Viktorija Starych-Samuolienė, Co-founder and Director of Strategy at the Council on Geostrategy, it covers geopolitics and environmental security – from a British standpoint
In the thirty-eighth episode of Geostrategy360, Viktorija speaks to Dr Philip Shetler-Jones about Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to the UK. They discuss how Japan has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; Japan’s strategic interests abroad and closer to home; deepening British-Japanese relations; and how the security partnership between the two countries might develop in the future.
Listen to Geostrategy360° on Anchor FM, where you can also find links to other podcast platforms hosting the podcast such as Apple, Google and Spotify.
Today, 5th May Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the end of the Japanese leader’s tour from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Italy. Highlights include –
- PM Kishida was given the red carpet treatment, with a review of guards and a flypast.
- Strong alignment on the burning geopolitical issue of the day –
Both leaders agreed that Russia’s barbaric invasion marked the end of the post-Cold War period and had major implications for wider international stability. Security in the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions was indivisible, they agreed, and the G7 leaders said democracies around the world needed to stand in unity against authoritarian regimes.Press release, Number 10 Downing Street
- Announcement of the long anticipated Reciprical Access Agreement, that will facilitate the expansion of joint military exercises between the UK military and Japanese Self Defence Forces.
- Kishida apparently expressed the view that cooperation between Japan and the UK on the latter’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS) / future fighter program “could become the cornerstone of the UK-Japan bilateral relationship”, confirming earlier analysis here.
- Appointment of a new UK trade envoy to Japan (Greg Clark MP) to support increased trade with Japan and capitalise on the UK’s expected accession to the main Indo-Pacific trade partnersip CPTPP.
UK statement here
As defence industry cooperation moves to the centre of the UK-Japan quasi alliance, is it time to deepen our intelligence relationship?
According to reports[↗] from Japan’s Ministry of Defence, on 25th December ‘some 20,000 pieces of information related to Japan’s defence may have been leaked in the January 2020 large-scale cyberattack on Mitsubishi Electric Corp.’ Such leaks threaten to stunt the development of the United Kingdom’s (UK) bilateral relationship with Japan, in which joint research and development of strategically important technology is becoming more central.
Britain and Japan have built an ever closer security and defence partnership[↗] over the last decade. The tempo and complexity of exercises and exchanges between armed forces (especially navies) has increased, and the expected conclusion of a Reciprocal Access Agreement[↗] this year indicates the appetite for more. However, availability and deployment schedules will ultimately limit the growth of cooperation in this area. Joint development of technology, by comparison, started on a modest level but has picked up momentum…
(read the full article at the Council on Geostrategy website)
In a reversal of the pressure from Washington that ended the early 20th Century Anglo-Japan alliance, there is now a growing trilateral U.S.A.ーJapanーU.K. for closer and mutually supportive relations.