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The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth docked at Yokosuka Naval Base this week, after holding military drills with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) and other navies.

European military forces have an expanding presence in this part of the world, a recognition of the ever-larger role the Indo-Pacific has assumed in those governments’ strategic calculations and of emerging threats to regional stability. European attention is welcome but we shouldn’t have outsize expectations of the role it can play.

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