This year, the UK deployed HMS MONTROSE to East Asia to support UN Security Council agreed sanctions in the region that will seek to monitor and deter sanctions evasion at sea and to conduct multilateral training and exercises, reinforcing Prime Minister May and Prime Minister Abe’s commitment to a closer defence and security relationship announced during the PM Abe’s visit to London in January 2019.
US, UK, Japan maritime forces practiced Submarine Hunting on 14 and 15 March.
Following the joint declaration on security cooperation by Prime Minister May and Prime Minister Abe in August 2017, the Royal Navy deployed HMS Sutherland, HMS Albion and HMS Argyll last year to uphold the rules based international system in support of international and regional security and to maintain and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.
During the HMS MONTROSE’s deployment to Japan, the UK conducted their second trilateral exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific since December 2018 for improving interoperability, maintaining readiness, and learning best practices from one another. These exercises also reflected a shared commitment to enhancing maritime cooperation since a 2016 trilateral summit attended by all three service chiefs at the Pentagon.
Cmdr. Conor O’Neill, HMS Montrose commanding officer stated,
The Royal Navy has a long history of cooperation with both Japan and the United States, and we will all benefit a great deal from training together.
Capt. Brian Erickson, commander, Task Force Seven Two (CTF 72) stated,
The Royal Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and United States Navy all support a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Cmdr. Shusaku Okada, Commanding Officer, JS Murasame stated
I also hope that further cooperation be strengthened with the Royal Navy, the United States Navy, and the mutual understanding be deepened.