UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt announced the installation of a hotline linking his office with counterparts in the Japanese government in a wide ranging speech on foreign policy (link) delivered at PolicyExchangeUK on 31 Oct 2018.
Jeremy Hunt explained that his office has for a long time had secure phone connections to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This reflects the famous “five eyes” intelligence family descended from the 1940s era. Is this a prelude to Japan being invited into the five eyes family, as recently suggested in an article in the Nikkei?
As an indication of how he sees Britain’s diplomacy developing in the post-Brexit era, Hunt announced that to “allow for the strengthening of important alliances”, a secure phone connection with Japan has been installed.
A connection was also added to counterparts in France and Germany.
The speech placed this move in the context of a post-Brexit global Britain foreign policy that consists of:
“..adding links to the chain that will allow us to play our part in linking the countries that share our values.”
So the UK and Japan have a ‘new type of alliance‘, and it has a maritime focus. And a ‘hotline‘ to coordinate actions in an emergency.
So there is a disaster in the Philippines and both the UK and Japan are using their military in the Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief role (HADR). Japan is sending its Self Defence Forces too.
So the UK Royal Navy is sending a helicopter ship to help, but their problem is getting replenished at sea (because the supply ships take too long to steam around the world, and can’t keep up with HMS Illustrious). But you can’t just expect anyone to do RAS – it is tricky and potentially dangerous, so it takes practice. Hmmm.
But wait, didn’t the RN and the MSDF cooperate in the Indian Ocean a little while ago, with Japan’s ships replenishing the RN and others with fuel, etc?
Mr. Abe, Mr. Cameron, what are you waiting for?
As this Asahi Shinbun article explains, when Japan’s NSC is set up in January 2014 it will be linked by hotline to its counterpart in London –
“to develop closer ties and information- and analyses-sharing during times of emergency”