Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 06/2012

UK-Japan Defense Cooperation: Britain Pivots and Japan Branches Out

Philip Shetler-Jones

May 2012

East-West Center


During his recent visit to Japan, British Prime Minister David Cameron signed a landmark defense cooperation agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda making the United Kingdom Japan’s only defense technology partner after the United States. The agreement comes just months after Japan relaxed its post-World War II restrictions on its participation in international research, development and trade in defense equipment. There are few publicly-available specifics on the deal, but official statements from Tokyo suggest the plan is to start small and slowly increase cooperation. Artillery and tank technology has been mentioned; along with helicopters, mine detection and chemical protection suits.