William Hague called on Mr Naoshima Masayuki, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on 16 July, and stressed the importance Britain places on Japan as an economic and commercial partner. The long history of strong bilateral relations between the UK and Japan in trade and investment was continuing, notably with the development of green, low carbon industries. He stated that Britain’s coalition government believed trade and investment should be a key part of a successful foreign policy. The Foreign Secretary also highlighted the huge potential benefits and increased trade flows for both UK and Japanese businesses which could be created through the removal of remaining barriers to trade, specifically non-trade barriers (NTBs).
Following that meeting the Foreign Secretary also met with Mr Kitazawa Toshimi, Japan’s Minister of Defence. He underlined the UK’s appreciation of the very important role Japan was playing in Afghanistan, in particular through its $5bn contribution to help with reconstruction of the war-torn country. He also stated his support for BAE Systems’ role, as part of the Eurofighter consortium, in bidding to supply Japan’s future fighter aircraft.