TOKYO (Reuters) – Britain and Japan will pledge on Thursday closer cooperation on defence, cyber security and counter-terrorism as Prime Minster Theresa May looks to strengthen relations with one of her closest allies ahead of Brexit.
Visiting her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe as Tokyo responds to the increasing military threat posed by North Korea, May toured Japan’s flagship Izumo helicopter carrier for a military briefing with Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera before attending a national security meeting.
“My visit today is a sign of the growing cooperation and partnership we have on defence matters,” May told Onodera after inspecting an honour guard at the Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo, which is also home to the U.S .
Navy Seventh Fleet carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.
May and Abe will agree a joint declaration on security cooperation, including plans for British soldiers to take part in military exercises on Japanese soil and for collaboration to address the threat of cyber and militant attacks when Japan hosts the Olympics in 2020.
North Korea is expected to feature heavily in the talks after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday that passed over Japanese territory, prompting international condemnation.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on North Korea, May’s office said .
May called on China to put more pressure on North Korea after she arrived in Japan on Wednesday.
The Global Times, a publication of the official People’s Daily of China’s ruling Communist Party, attacked May for her comment. “Beijing does not need London to teach it how to deal with North Korea,” it wrote.
Following the security briefing, the trip’s focus is expected to return to trade and investment, with May keen to persuade nervy investors that Britain’s exit from the European Union will not make it a less attractive business partner.
Both May and Abe will address both a travelling delegation of British business leaders, and senior representatives from major Japanese investors in the UK economy such as carmakers Nissan, Toyota and conglomerate Hitachi.
“As we leave the EU, we will work to quickly establish a new economic partnership between the UK and Japan based on the terms of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement,” May will say according to advanced extracts of her speech.
During a two-hour train ride between Kyoto and Tokyo late on Wednesday the two leaders discussed Brexit, with May talking Abe through the details of a series of papers published in recent weeks setting out her negotiating position.
Formal trade discussions are scheduled for Thursday, after which both leaders will give a news conference.
May said on Wednesday Japan’s upcoming trade deal with the EU could offer a template for a future Japan-Britain trade agreement, the latest attempt to show investors that Brexit will not lead to an overnight change in business conditions.
Japan has been unusually open about its concerns over Brexit, worrying that 40 billion pounds ($51.68 billion) of Japanese investment in the British economy could suffer if trading conditions change abruptly when Britain leaves the bloc.
Reporting by William James Editing; Additional reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Clarence Fernandez
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The trial of a self-styled Indian “godman” accused of rape has triggered a security lockdown, with police closing schools and converting a cricket stadium into a jail in case his followers erupt into violence if he is found guilty.
Thousands of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s supporters have begun assembling close to the court in the state of Punjab, where he is on trial for raping two women in cases that date back to 2002 . A verdict is expected on Friday.
“The verdict could lead to potential large-scale unrest and violence,” Ajay Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, in Panchkula city, told Reuters.
Singh, a burly, bearded man who has scripted and starred in his own films, commands a near-devotional following – he claims in the millions – in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, where his Dera Sacha Sauda group is based.
He denies all the charges against him, and has called on his followers to remain peaceful.
“We will block mobile internet services if needed as concerns spread over the stockpiling of weapons including lathis (wooden sticks) at the different prayer centers,” Kumar said.
Police patrol next to concertina wire barricade outside a court in Panchkula in the northern state of Haryana, India, August 24, 2017.Ajay Verma
Trains would also be suspended for several hours, while a cricket stadium in state capital Chandigarh had been commandeered as a temporary detention centre.
In 2014, the attempted arrest of another guru on murder charges ended with his followers attacking police with clubs and stones.
Indian godmen can summon thousands of supporters onto the streets at the drop of a hat . Their systems of patronage and quasi-religious sermons are hugely popular with people who consider the government to have failed them.
But few are as controversial as Singh.
The top domestic security agency is investigating whether Singh convinced 400 of his male followers to undergo castration, allegations he denies .
A variety of reasons have been given for why the men agreed to castration, including promises of becoming closer to god.
He has also irritated the Sikh religious community by dressing like one of their gurus.
Singh’s two films, “Messenger of God” and its sequel, include sequences in which he fights off villains and tosses burning motorbikes into the air.
Reporting by Rupam Jain and Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie
Hero security guard leaps into swimming pool to rescue toddler trapped upside down in inflatable ring
This is the moment an heroic security guard leapt into a swimming pool after spotting a toddler trapped upside down in an inflatable rubber ring. The heart-stopping scene saw the unnamed three-year-old boy desperately attempting to wriggle free from the ring. In video footage of the incident, he can be seen swimming along inside his pink inflatable before accidentally flipping it upside down – and nobody immediately close by who can rescue him.
His head is then submerged underwater with his legs wriggling around in the air for several seconds. Fortunately he was spotted by the alert guard as well as another parent who immediately swung into action.
The guard jumps into the pool alongside another parent (Image: AsiaWire) The boy can be seen flipped upside down inside the rubber ring (Image: AsiaWire)
CCTV1 footage shows them both jumping over the swimming pool fence, while the man, known only as Ma, leaps fully clothed into the water to save the drowning boy, who was thankfully not harmed. Ma, who works at the park in Sanya City, South China s Hainan Province, is being hailed a hero.
He said the boy had been swimming with a grandparent, but the elderly relative was not nearby at the time.
Ma walks from the pool with the boy in his arms (Image: AsiaWire)
Ma told the boy s parents that there was “no need” to thank him. This May a young boy from East China nearly drowned in similar circumstances when his swim ring flipped upside down. The child was submerged with his head underwater for 72 seconds before staff at the swimming pool spotted him.