As part of the UK’s policy to strengthen its presence and situation awareness in E. Asia, the Royal Navy has posted an officer as permanent liaison to the US 7th Fleet, based in Yokosuka. Cmdr. Simon Staley is also tasked with establishing the position of U.K. liaison officer to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the first time the Royal Navy had such a post since the Anglo-Japan Alliance in the 1920s. Cmdr. Staley will not only establish open dialogue with his Japanese counterparts, but also study the relationship between the U.S. and Japanese and the strong alliance between the U.S. 7th Fleet and the JMSDF.
“As the only British Officer in Japan behind the defence attache, I am charged with building relationships within 7th Fleet, understanding the environment better to inform U.K. policy and navy operational training, and to make a valuable contribution to the thinking, practices and effectiveness that the 7th Fleet staff delivers to this region daily,” said Staley. “It is truly a privilege to be here recognizing not only the significance of becoming a 7th Fleet Staff officer, but also the responsibility of the ambassadorial role I have for the Royal Navy and indeed the U.K. here in Japan. Collectively, we have much to learn from each other.”
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