London to permanently station 2 patrol ships in Indo-Pacific

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – The UK will permanently deploy two patrol vessels to the Indo-Pacific following the deployment of a carrier strike group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday that the UK will permanently deploy two patrol vessels to the Indo-Pacific following the deployment of a carrier strike group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, Nikkei reported.

The announcement highlights the expanding defense cooperation between the two countries in the face of what they say is the Chinese activity around Taiwan and the nearby Japan-administered Senkaku Islands, which China names as the Diaoyu.

The defense chiefs confirmed that the aircraft carrier will dock at the US naval base in Yokosuka during its visit to Japan in September. The country hosts the largest concentration of American forces outside the US.

Kishi said other ships in the Queen Elizabeth strike group will make port calls at Maritime Self-Defense Force bases in Yokosuka, Maizuru, and Kure, along with the US Navy's Sasebo base and its White Beach facility in Okinawa.

As a close ally of Washington, Japan hosts the highest US military presence abroad.

HJ/PR

News Code 176395

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