U.K., Japan deepen defense ties, pursue joint projects

By Ryan Maass  |  Jan. 8, 2016 at 2:09 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The United Kingdom and Japan will deepen their defense industry ties by collaborating on a number of projects beginning in 2016.

The new projects were announced during U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon's first visit to Japan in 2016, and include cooperation on cybersecurity and the production of a Joint New Air-to-Air Missile, or JNAAM. The defense ministry revealed the new air-to-air missile will move to the second stage of discussion following successful first talks.

Both militaries will also further collaborate in training exercises, which will include the possibility of a joint exercise involving the Royal Air Force's Typhoon aircraft.

"Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and I want to significantly deepen defence cooperation between our two nations," Fallon said in a statement. "We will do that through joint exercises, reciprocal access to our military bases, military personnel exchanges and cooperation on equipment, including a new air-to-air missile."

The U.K. Ministry of Defense said other joint projects can include mine-hunting exercises, improving counter-IED capabilities, and Japan's potential involvement in NATO exchanges and training events.

"I personally look forward to further strengthening the bilateral partnership," Japanese Defense Minister H.E. Gen. Nakatani said.

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