British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on July 20 announced London’s plans for a permanent deployment of two naval vessels to Asia by the end of the year.
This plan will be carried out after the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth and its escorts in September will pass through the South China Sea en route to the Land of Funang.
The announcement was made in a joint statement in Tokyo between British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo.
Reuters reported on July 20 that the visit of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier strike group is scheduled as London strengthens security ties with Tokyo. Japan in recent months has sounded the alarm about China’s ambitions for dominance in the region. Beijing is trying to compete for influence over the United States and Japan.
Japan’s Defense Minister, Kishi Nuobo, was quoted as saying that after the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier strike group arrives in the Land of the Rising Sun, the warships in the group will split up to visit Japanese military bases and the US.
The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier alone with F-35B stealth fighters on board will be anchored at Yokosuka. This is where Japan’s Fleet Command is headquartered and also where the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is present.
Japan is a close ally of the US and is home to the largest number of American forces outside of the United States. US forces in Japan include warships, aircraft and thousands of marines.