Main Image Credit UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly greets his counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi at the G7 in Germany, November 2022. Courtesy of Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay/Pooln/Alamy Stock
The UK's tilt to the Indo-Pacific cannot succeed without London building a strong relationship with Tokyo.
The UK’s relationship with Japan is the cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific ‘tilt’ and provides unique insights into its motivating logic and the UK’s role in world politics, Philip Shetler-Jones argues. First, it exhibits the importance the UK gives to universal principles unrestricted by cultural or geographic markers in its choice of ‘like-minded’ partners – an aspect of Global Britain that is reciprocated in Japanese policy, informing how the ‘tilt’ is received in the region. Second, it represents the prime example of how the tilt maintains the equilibrium of UK foreign policy in the midst of a shifting global power balance, by means of a more diversified, flatter framework of ‘quasi alliance’ relations built on the foundation of the transatlantic alliance. Third, the foremost commitment in the Integrated Review that the UK remain a leading technology power is reflected in the defence technology and industry partnership that is becoming central to the UK–Japan relationship.