Japan’s Ambassador to the UK Keiichi Hayashi and UK Foreign Minister William Hague, 4 July 2013
The recent signing of defence cooperation agreements between the UK and Japan is stirring memories of old alliances.
“By mentioning the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, I am not seeking merely to dwell on past glories. Surely we had the tragedy of another war which we fought against each other and have always to squarely face. However, we are now nurturing a new partnership in the defence and security areas, which perhaps we can call a new type of alliance” Japan’s ambassador to the UK Keiichi Hayashi, 23 July 2013. (link here)
A new Anglo-Japan Alliance? Certainly there are echoes -
“The focus of international competition is moving steadily towards the Pacific Ocean and… Japan is obliged… to play an ever increasingly [sic] part in the peaceful development of that portion of the globe [cheers]. I sincerely hope … that these friendly feelings and mutual sympathies which have existed between us in the past shall be daily more strongly cemented in the future [cheers].” Ito Hirobumi, London, 3 January 1902
Conscious of the need to avoid too much Anglo-Japan bias on this blog, I will begin posting more on the emergence of ‘a new type of alliance‘, at a sibling blog devoted to this question: Anglo-Japan Alliance
Vietnamese Minister of National Defence, General Phung Quang Thanh reviews the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony in Warsaw on August 12.—Photo tienphong
Stronger Defense Link Drives Vietnam-Poland Relationship Forward
This comes on the heels of Japan’s PM Abe’s bilateral summit of June 17 2013, in which he agreed with PM Tusk on the following issues with respect to Political and Defense Exchange: Continue reading
JDS Kashima passes Fort Blockhouse as she enters Portsmouth Harbour, July 2013
The must-read blog on UK defence ‘Thin Pinstripe Line‘ has details about the UK Royal Navy deployment way East of Suez this year:
It’s that bear again. Big exercises in Asia, and now this: Russia’s Pacific Fleet to Receive New Warships in 2014
Russia the double-headed eagle – It’s European, it’s Asian. Makes you think, doesn’t it? French built warship, Russian flag and soon to sail the Pacific. These are the first ships added to their Pacific fleet since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Continue reading
Pivot watchers may assume that what Don Rumsfeld called ‘new Europe’ (countries that joined the EU and NATO in latter post USSR years) are concerned at the US Pivot to Asia because the drawdown of America’s commitment to European security will reduce the credibility of the deterrent against Russia on their borders. Some members of ‘old Europe’ further west are Continue reading
UK Defence Engagement in Myanmar
Is this more evidence for the vigour of the UK Pivot to Asia? Myanmar’s President Thein Sein is visiting the UK and France. The headlines about the visit to France refer to cooperation on energy and warnings on human rights. Is the UK alone in Europe in engaging with Myanmar on security issues? Or is Paris just being more discreet about such issues so as not to raise hackles in Beijing?
NATO and Japan explore opportunities to cooperate on emerging security challenges – “such as cyber defence, counter-terrorism and non-proliferation. Opportunities for collaborating on responses to such challenges through science and innovation were a particular focus of the visit” (link)
The Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu in French military uniform, c.1867.
This blog has paid close attention to the UK-Japan ‘strategic partnership’ (here, here, here), not least because it is starting to look like the most salient feature of Europe-Asia interaction on security. In the recent Chatham House conference (opening their five-year UK-Japan Global Seminar), British MP Hugo Swire called Japan Britain’s ‘closest partner in Asia’. His counterpart at the Conference, Hiroaki Fujii, had earlier called the UK Continue reading
David Cameron met with Japan’s PM Abe just prior to the G8 meetings to talk security. According to this Japanese media report from NHK (Japan’s equivalent of the BBC), they (i) formally agreed on the promotion of joint development of military equipment; (ii) agreed to speed up joint research on chemical (weapons) protective clothing; (iii) agreed to finalize a mechanism for sharing confidential information on security issues such as counter-terrorism. Reference was made to the close cooperation during the January 2013 ‘Amenas’ hostage crisis.
Much of this is just putting the formal seal on what was already agreed. However, it is another reminder that the UK is keeping up the drum-beat on security cooperation with Asian nations (see here, here for more on this theme).
Woody Allen said that 80% of life is showing up. By that standard, the various European security actors (EU, NATO, a couple of sovereign states) made the grade at this year’s Shangri-la shindig on Asian security.
EU: Cathy Ashton went (first time) and gave a speech in plenary. It was Continue reading