Although the UK’s presence in East Asia diminished following its withdrawal to East of Suez in 1971, it did not disappear completely. A member of the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, with a naval logistics base in Singapore, a Ghurkha garrison stationed in Brunei and a dense network of bilateral defence relationships spanning the entire region, the UK has retained a direct stake in East Asia’s security. From the Japanese perspective, there is great potential for the UK and Europe to play a more over role in the Asia Pacific region, in addition to areas such as counter terrorism, cyber security, intelligence sharing and nuclear security.
This conference will therefore seek to define what role Japan sees the UK playing in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, as well as look to address crucial questions such as:
- How will the UK’s security policy in Asia evolve after the 2015 SDSR and National Security Strategy?
- What is the optimum level of UK engagement with Japan in the context of the UK’s multifaceted interests and the limited resources it has to work with?
- And, perhaps most importantly, how the UK can play a responsible and constructive role in regional security while cultivating closer trade and economic ties with China?
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