Japan welcomes UK plan to deploy aircraft carrier in Indo-Pacific

By Times now

Japan has welcomed the United Kingdom’s plan to deploy a fleet led by its new flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the Indo-Pacific region.

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo said that he is confident that Britain will promote peace and stability in the region by demonstrating its involvement in defence to maintain and strengthen a free and open Indo-Pacific, NHK reported.

The Queen Elizabeth carrier will lead a flotilla of Royal Navy ships — as well as a U.S. Navy destroyer, a frigate from the Netherlands, and a squadron of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets — taking the vessels through the flashpoint South and East China seas, The Japan Times reported.

It will make stops in India, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

The British carrier strike group which includes HMS Queen Elizabeth and 18 F-35B stealth fighters, two destroyers, two frigates, and two support ships will have to sail through the South China Sea on its way to East Asia.

Indo-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.

China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

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