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Century-Old British and Japanese Empire Alliance Makes Comeback

Jan. 11, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—After one hundred years of dormancy, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance has been resurrected to be aimed at a new target: China. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in London as part of a tour that includes stops in Paris, Rome, Ottawa and Washington ahead of the May 19-21 G7 summit hosted by Japan, signed a new military cooperation agreement with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The agreement, called a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), allows both countries to deploy forces on each other’s soil. The agreement, touted as the most significant defense pact between London and Tokyo in more than a century, will “rapidly accelerate” already growing defense and security cooperation between the two monarchies amid rising concerns over China’s military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, reported the Japan Times. Sunak’s office said the agreement will be put before their parliaments “in the coming weeks.”

The RAA signing will be seen as yet another example of Tokyo’s interest in cementing ever-closer security ties with a variety of partner countries amid growing Sino-U.S. tensions, the Times said.

In a statement this morning, hours before Sunak met with Kishida, 10 Downing St. said that the RAA “will also cement the U.K.’s commitment to Indo-Pacific security, allowing both forces to plan and deliver larger-scale, more complex military exercises and deployments.” It added that “the U.K. will be the first European country to have a Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan, the most important defense treaty between the U.K. and Japan since 1902.”

“In the past 12 months, we have written the next chapter of the relationship between the U.K. and Japan—accelerating, building and deepening our ties. We have so much in common: a shared outlook on the world, a shared understanding of the threats and challenges we face, and a shared ambition to use our place in the world for global good, ensuring our countries prosper for generations to come,”

Sunak said.

“This Reciprocal Access Agreement is hugely significant for both our nations—it cements our commitment to the Indo-Pacific and underlines our joint efforts to bolster economic security, accelerate our defense cooperation and drive innovation that creates highly skilled jobs. In this increasingly competitive world, it is more important than ever that democratic societies continue to stand shoulder to shoulder as we navigate the unprecedented global challenges of our time.”

The reference to the 1902-1922 Anglo-Japanese Alliance is not insignificant. That treaty, along with British Imperial alliances with France and Russia that followed, helped to set the conditions for three wars, the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War, World War I and World War II.

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