Japan and Britain have agreed to an unprecedented arms deal – Tokyo’s first such arrangement with a country other than the US. Amid fears of Western expansion in Asia Pacific, some analysts say the region will welcome a counterbalance to Chinese power.
Kicking off his tour of Japan and Southeast Asia on Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron clinched a defense weapons deal with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda.
The move represents Tokyo’s first attempt to develop such weapons with a country other than the United States.
Short on details, Cameron and Noda vowed to launch at least one weapons program that would “contribute to both our countries’ security and peaceful intent.”
The British government had previously proposed joint projects in several fields, including the auto-loading system for 155mm Howitzers.
Both leaders also agreed to conduct joint troop exercises under the specter of an impending North Korean rocket launch.
Japan’s subsequent easing of arms export rules further reflects its desire to boost its military presence on the global stage.
For its part, London is following lock and step with Washington, where increasing commitments in the Asia-Pacific region is a priority.
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