Kishi hails UK plan to send carrier to East Asia

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo has told British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace that he "greatly welcomes" Britain's plan to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group to the seas around East Asia this year.

Kishi said during their online meeting on Thursday that he will closely work with Britain to help facilitate the deployment. The strike group will likely include the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The two sides agreed to send a clear message that they "strongly oppose" any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the region "by coercion" or any activities that escalate tension. China has been increasing its maritime activities in the South and East China seas.

Kishi and Wallace affirmed that they will coordinate to hold a "two-plus-two" bilateral meeting of defense and foreign affairs chiefs in the near future.

They also discussed a follow-up model for the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's F-2 fighter jets, as well as sharing information on preventing the spread of the coronavirus.