UK to Deploy Aircraft Carrier in Pacific in 2025, Strengthening Regional Security: Sunak

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In a significant move, the United Kingdom has announced its plan to send an aircraft carrier back to the Pacific as part of a Carrier Strike Group in 2025. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, currently in Japan for the G7 summit in Hiroshima, revealed the decision during his visit to Tokyo. The HMS Queen Elizabeth had previously made port calls in Japan in 2021 as Western allies seek to counter China's increasing military influence in the region.

During his visit to a naval base, Sunak also announced that the UK would double the number of its troops participating in joint exercises. In addition, London and Tokyo will establish a formal "consult clause" to facilitate discussions on regional and global security issues, as well as coordinated responses.

The returning Carrier Strike Group, according to Sunak, will collaborate with the Japanese Self Defense Forces and other regional partners to safeguard peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Later in the day, Sunak will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Hiroshima, where they are expected to announce the "Hiroshima Accord." The accord will cover various areas, including defense, trade, science and technology, and climate change, although specific details have not yet been disclosed.

Ahead of his departure for Japan, Sunak emphasized the pivotal moment for the alliance, facing complex threats to global peace and prosperity. He expressed the UK's commitment to mobilize international efforts against economic coercion by hostile states and to provide support to Ukraine.

While these developments mark an important step for the UK's engagement in the Pacific, Prime Minister Sunak faces domestic political pressures following disappointing results in recent local elections. Furthermore, the nation continues to grapple with a significant cost-of-living crisis, as inflation remains high, prompting industrial action as workers demand wage increases to cope with rising prices.

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