Jeremy Browne: UK-Japan relations are key for both nations’ prosperity
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne met with Mr Teruhiko Mashiko, Senior Vice Minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, on 10 September. Minister Browne highlighted the importance of Japanese investment to the UK economy, with 1200 Japanese companies responsible for 100,000 jobs. But there was immense potential to strengthen the relationship further. Increasing UK-Japan and EU-Japan trade would benefit all and an early focus on tackling non-tariff barriers to improve access to the Japanese market was a high priority. He also underlined the UK government’s support for BAE Systems’ role, as part of the Eurofighter consortium, in bidding to supply Japan’s future fighter aircraft.
Minister Browne also welcomed the announcement by Japan’s Transport Minister of a new ‘Open Skies’ approach to air services in Japan, and confirmed that the UK stands ready to move ahead with a liberalisation of UK-Japan air services. The Japanese Government’s policy will dramatically increase capacity at Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports. This should include making more daytime slots available for international services at Haneda airport, which is closer to Tokyo city centre. The UK believes that this would bring significant benefits to both consumers and industry. The UK is Japan’s largest European aviation market, and stands ready to work with Japan to deliver a ground-breaking liberalisation.