British defense secretary to visit Japan this month

Reuters file photo
Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace walks outside Downing Street in London on February 3.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is expected to visit Japan and meet with Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on July 20, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. A meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is also being coordinated, according to sources.

The Self-Defense Forces and the British military have been conducting a series of joint drills, and the two sides are likely to confirm the further strengthening of defense cooperation.

Kishi and Wallace are expected to discuss joint exercises the British military is planning with the Self-Defense Forces when Britain’s carrier strike group led by the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth visits East Asia later this year.

The two are also expected to share concerns over China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas.