Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon have met the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defence Minister Gen Nakatani, in the first ever Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting between the UK and Japan.
During the meeting, the ministers discussed the global security situation, including the challenge posed by ISIL and international terrorism, and what more the UK and Japan can do together in the areas of defence and security to promote international peace and security.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“The UK and Japan have long shared a very strong relationship. We work together in the G7 and G20 on issues that affect the whole world, including security, energy, cyber crime and healthcare, and we share a common belief in freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
“This week’s appalling threat by ISIL against two Japanese hostages demonstrates just how much these beliefs are at risk, and how important it is we work together to defeat those who would destroy our way of life.
“Today’s discussions have come at an important moment and demonstrate the unity between Japan and the UK, as strategic partners and as friends. We will continue to work together on the dangers we face and the interests we share.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“I’m delighted to welcome His Excellency Gen Nakatani here today. This is the first ever meeting of this kind between the UK and Japan. That is not just hugely symbolic, it also clearly reaffirms our resolve to deepen and broaden our defence relationship.
“It will be vital to build on the progress we’ve made today. We therefore welcome the plan for greater cooperation and the important role which Japan is increasingly playing on the international stage.”
Today’s meeting took place at Lancaster House in London and was first announced by the Prime Minister during Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit last year. The Defence and Foreign Ministers also met separately this morning for detailed discussions around their individual briefs, including the wider relationship between Japan and the UK and bilateral trade and investment.
The joint Japanese-British statement issued after the meetings can be found here:
The Prime Minister agreed with Japanese Prime Minister Abe during Mr Abe’s visit to the UK in May 2014 to hold a Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting between the UK and Japan.
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