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Japan, UK Sign Anti-China Defense Pact as Tokyo Unveils Anti-Russia Sanctions

© AP Photo / Dan KitwoodBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, centre right, reacts as he walks with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, centre left, to review an Honour Guard, during a welcoming ceremony in Westminster, London
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, centre right, reacts as he walks with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, centre left, to review an Honour Guard, during a welcoming ceremony in Westminster, London - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.05.2022
Concluding a five-nation tour, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in London on Thursday to build trade and military relations with the United Kingdom, penning a new anti-Russia pact and urging City of London investors to put their money into the East Asian island.
The pact is modelled on the Reciprocal Access Agreement London signed with Canberra in January, providing for “streamlined arrangements to support the deployment of defence forces more quickly and with less administration,” as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison put it.
Like the UK-Australia deal, the UK-Japan pact is aimed at containing the People’s Republic of China. However, this pact is also aimed at Russia, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida making the by-now-common mistaken comparison between Ukraine and Taiwan.

“Ukraine may be tomorrow’s East Asia,” Kishida told reporters in London on Thursday, after meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “Russia’s aggression is not an issue only for Europe. The international order encompassing the Indo-Pacific is at stake.”

Kishida announced new sanctions against Russia to encompass more banks, imports from about 70 military entities, and a ban on exporting certain advanced technologies, such as quantum computers. Tokyo will also sanction another 140 individuals, whose assets will be frozen.
With the two defence deals, London is edging closer to a Quad-style arrangement with Japan and Australia, similar to the deal those two nations have with India and the United States. London is also part of the AUKUS pact with Canberra and Washington, which works in conjunction with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. All are deals aimed at military cooperation against China, which the US has increasingly postured as a threat to the “rules-based international order.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
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Tokyo’s role in that project expanded dramatically in recent weeks after Kishida made a tour of five Asian nations, penning deals with Indonesia and Thailand, two members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The US has long tried to manipulate the ASEAN nations into serving as frontline resisters to Chinese economic and military expansion in the region, such as through the Belt and Road Initiative and the on-going disputes over control of islands in the South China Sea. Beijing has tried to resolve those disputes through diplomatic mechanisms, such as the Code of Conduct for the waterway being slowly negotiated.
Trade between Japan and the UK was also a topic of Kishida’s meeting with Johnson. London is expected to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership soon, and Kishida said that the two would pressure Washington to return to the trade pact. Under former US President Donald Trump, the US pulled out of the TPP before it could take effect.
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