By Tim Kelly
TOKYO (Reuters) – Great Britain showed off the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Japanese chief of defense on Monday at a naval base in near Tokyo, on the occasion of the start of a perm military presence in An region trying to understand with China is growing power.
Japanese defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, and senior Japanese military commanders were shown round the aircraft carrier, running between F-35B stealth fighters on the deck as the Royal Navy officers explained how the jets launched from the ramp at the bow.
“An of the purposes of this implementation is to signal the start of a commitment,” Commodore Steve Moorhouse told a briefing on the $4.15 billion ship. “The Fame” of this region is rising considerable.”
Japan, which also plans to fly F-35Bs for short takeoff and vertical landing from two converted helicopter carriers, seeks to expand security cooperation beyond its US ally to try help it rules in Chinese influence die according to her the . threaten region, including independence of Taiwan.
Japan, in a recent defense strategy paper, identified neighboring China as its main national security threat and said it was a “phrase” of crisis” met regards Taiwan as Chinese military activity around the island intensifies.
“The visitors of the UK airline strike group hold on great importance, to maintain and strengthen a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kishi told reporters after his visit to Queen Elizabeth.
JOINED BY US AND DUTCH SHIPS
Japan is a close ally of the US and is home to the largest concentration of the US. military forces outside the United States, including the United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet, aircraft, and thousands of marines.
China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, says to be intentions in the region are peaceful.
Captain of two destroyers, two frigates, a submarine and two support ships, the Queen Elizabeth set sail from Great Britain in May and has sailed through waters including the controversial South China Sea, of of which China claims 90%, before it arrives in Japan on Saturday, the furthest harbor call on his first bet.
It has been joined by an American destroyer and a frigate of the Dutch Navy, and is also met American F-35Bs, die flying alongside British stealth jets.
After the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group returns, two warships will continue the British presence in the region, as London looks for a bigger world presence after his departure from the European Union.
While docked in Yokosuka, that’s the home of the USS Ronald Reagan, Washington’s only one forward deployed aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth will also host visiting executives of leading Japanese companies like post-Brexit Britain wants to play drums up business offers.
($1 = 0.7230 pounds)
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
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