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UK, Japan to ink defence pact in December: reports

London – The UK planned to sign a new defence agreement with Japan next month, which will enable the two countries to further ties with the US in the Indo-Pacific region, the “Financial Times” reported.

The Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) would also aim to enhance deterrence against China and would make joint exercises easier, the London-based newspaper reported.

Japan was also in the “initial stages” of considering a similar agreement with the Philippines, the “Financial Times” said.

The report came in the wake of a phone call between the two prime ministers on November 4.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, agreed the UK and Japan were important allies who played a vital role in ensuring global stability and prosperity.

“Reiterating the importance of ensuring a free and independent Indo-Pacific, the prime minister said that the UK was aligned with Japan on the challenges in the region,” Downing Street said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced last month that Australia and Japan had agreed to strengthen co-operation in the field of defence and security by signing a Joint Declaration on Security Co-operation.

Kyodo news reported that any breakthrough with the UK would follow a similar deal Japan signed with Australia in January. That agreement was the first such pact for Tokyo, outside of its alliance with the US, the report added.

Asian News

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