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UK and Japan working more closely on cyber security, counter terrorism and defence

The UK’s security and defence collaboration with Japan is to step up a level. In light of serious challenges to the rules-based international order, such as the recent unprecedented threat posed by North Korea, Prime Minister Theresa May is set to announce a significant step up in cooperation. The Prime Minister is to say that even closer cooperation with UK’s closest security partner in Asia, Japan, will ensure we can continue to stand alongside our Japanese friends and allies to further our shared interests and meet our shared challenges in an uncertain world. May is expected to say that Japan is a natural partner for the UK on defence and security issues, as two outward-looking countries both firmly committed to supporting the rules-based international system and the promotion of democratic values. The UK and Japan will work together in pursuit of important common foreign policy goals, including finding a peaceful solution to the North Korean issue and ensuring the rigorous implementation of sanctions against the North Korean regime. The two countries’ military personnel also work alongside one another in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, and we are jointly leading pioneering de-mining and peacekeeping work across Africa. Highlighting the importance both countries are placing on their collaboration, the Prime Minister will attend a meeting of the Japanese National Security Council in Tokyo, becoming only the second ever foreign leader to do so and the first European leader ever to be granted access. The two leaders are expected to agree a new ‘Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation’ with the UK, which will include: defence, with the Prime Minister announcing the deployment of HMS Argyll to Japan in December 2018 and UK troops exercising jointly with their Japanese counterparts next year; cyber security, with the UK and Japan agreeing to cooperate on cyber security ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics; and counter terrorism, with the two countries agreeing much improved information-sharing and strengthening cooperation on aviation security and tackling violent extremism, as well as sharing best practice on mass event safety and security through expert exchanges. The Prime Minister will say at the National Security Council: “It is a great honour to be invited to attend this meeting of Japan’s National Security Council. “As two outward-facing countries with many shared priorities and shared challenges, Japan remains a natural partner for us on defence and security issues. “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. “And that must include confronting the threat that North Korea poses and ensuring the regime stops its aggressive acts.”


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