Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.
On a trip to Japan, the UK's defence minister has announced that two British war ships will be permanently stationed in Asian waters.
The deployment will come after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships - which include American and Dutch vessels - sail to Japan in September.
Plans for the high-profile visit by the carrier strike group come as London deepens security ties with Tokyo.
Japan has expressed growing alarm in recent months over China's territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan.
Ben Wallace called the move a new era for UK-Japan defence and security cooperation.
“Following on from the strike group's inaugural deployment, the United Kingdom will permanently assign two ships in the region from later this year, as well as contributing a littoral response group in the coming years to come." A Littoral Response Group is a unit of marines trained to undertake missions including evacuations and anti-terrorism operations.
The deployment is a further sign of Britains growing regional engagement.
After the strike groups arrival in Japan the Queen Elizabeth and its escort ships would split off for separate port calls to U.S. and Japanese naval bases along the Japanese archipelago.