Press release

UK and Japan strengthen defence ties

Defence ties between the UK and Japan have been strengthened by a new agreement enabling closer joint work between our armed forces.

Signing the UK-Japan Defence Logistics Treaty

The UK and Japan have today (26 January 2017) signed the Defence Logistics Treaty to make it easier for our armed forces to work together on a range of activities, including UN peacekeeping operations and joint humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

This agreement follows the success of the first ever joint exercise in Japan between the Royal Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force during last year’s historic Asia-Pacific tour.

This was another example of our ever closer defence cooperation with Japan as the UK’s closest security partner in Asia.

The agreement includes practical arrangements that will allow both countries’ forces to share equipment, facilities and services in a simpler and more efficient way. It covers the exchange of supplies and services, removing the need for individual agreements on a case by case basis.

Signing the treaty at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

The UK is working together with Japan as our closest security partner in Asia to promote global security, stability and prosperity. As two leading supporters of the international rules based system, this close collaboration between our forces will help support collective efforts to tackle international and regional challenges and threats.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon welcomed the agreement and said:

Japan is an important British ally and this treaty will enable closer joint work on operations and exercises, including sharing equipment, supplies and services. As Global Britain steps up, we will continue to stand alongside our Japanese friends to meet shared interests and challenges. This agreement underlines our commitment to tacking international threats which makes Britain safer and more secure.

Japan’s Ambassador to the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, who signed the treaty on behalf of the Government of Japan, said:

This treaty marks a significant moment in Japan’s security and defence relationship with the UK, Japan’s close partner that shares fundamental values such as the rule of law and democracy. The two countries will work together on security cooperation, as well as other global issues in this changing world.

Further information

Photographs of the signing are available at Foreign and Commonwealth Office Flickr

The Defence Logistics Treaty is also referred to as an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA). It was a commitment of the second 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers’ meeting in January 2016, when Japan also agreed to host RAF Typhoons in October 2016 in an historic joint air force exercise – the country’s first ever with a military partner other than the USA.

UK-Japan defence and security cooperation is going from strength to strength. The UK and Japan continue to develop new defence technologies, with a particular focus on missile technology. 2016 also saw our cooperation in third countries expand from South East Asia to Africa.

As Japan prepares to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our cooperation on cyber security is also expanding. Japan’s Olympics Minister, Tamayo Marukawa visited the UK in January to discuss the UK’s cyber expertise from London 2012 and the UK’s experience of crisis preparedness in managing large sporting events.

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Published 26 January 2017