Japan and the U.K. will hold a joint military drill in the Gulf of Aden in the near future to demonstrate their cooperation in various geographical areas, according to Japanese government sources.

The drill will involve Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force units currently engaged in an antipiracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and a British aircraft carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's largest warship, they said.

The strike group left the U.K. in May for the western Pacific, to show London's increased engagement in the Indo-Pacific amid China's growing maritime assertiveness in the region.