UK sending Type 23 frigate to Japan next year

Royal Navy photo of HMS Argyll

As the UK and Japan defense ministries are stepping up their cooperation in response to the unprecedented threat posed by North Korea, the Royal Navy is sending a Type 23 frigate to Japan.

In December 2018, HMS Argyll is set to be sent to the region. UK troops exercising jointly with their Japanese counterparts next year will be a first for non-US troops on Japanese soil.

The announcement was made as part of UK Prime Ministers Theresa May’s visit to Japan and the headquarters of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) at Yokosuka outside Tokyo, where she received a briefing from Japanese and UK military personnel on-board helicopter destroyer JS Izumo, the largest vessel in the JMSDF.

The briefing focused on the strength of the UK-Japan defense relationship, including joint mine countermeasures work in the region.

In addition to naval cooperation, the UK and Japan will agree to cooperate on cyber security ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and share best practice and expertise, including through an exchange of expert visits.

The two countries will also improve information-sharing and will strengthen cooperation on aviation security and tackling violent extremism.

“I am determined that our defence and security cooperation will continue to go from strength to strength, enhancing our collective response to threats to the international order and to global peace and security, through increased cooperation on defence, cyber security, and counter-terrorism,” Theresa May said.

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