Kishida, Sunak Sign Japan-Britain Security Pact
London, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart, Rishi Sunak, signed an agreement Wednesday to facilitate visits by Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel and British troops to each other's country.
The two leaders signed the reciprocal access agreement during a meeting in London as part of efforts to reinforce their countries' security cooperation amid China's increasingly hegemonic moves and Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
Britain is the second country with which Japan has such a pact. The only predecessor is Australia, which Tokyo regards as a quasi-ally.
The agreement "brings the security cooperation between Japan and Britain to a new level," Kishida told reporters. "I expect that moves to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region will progress further."
Kishida and Sunak welcomed a plan for Japan, Britain and Italy to jointly develop next-generation fighter jets and agreed to hold a two-plus-two security meeting of their countries' foreign and defense ministers early.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]