UK-Japan: continued support

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister meets with Japanese counterparts and business to reaffirm the UK’s continuing commitment to the UK-Japan partnership

UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne with Mr Takaaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs

Following his visit to the North East of Japan on 9-10 July Jeremy Browne concluded his visit to Japan with a round of talks with senior Japanese Ministers and business representatives in Tokyo.

This allowed him to reaffirm that the UK government and British business stand ready to help with the post-disaster recovery, and to discuss a number of important bilateral and international issues.

Jeremy Browne met with Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and Mr Yutaka Banno, Japan’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Both Ministers were deeply appreciative for UK support during the recent crisis. A wide number of issues were discussed including both countries approaches on Libya, the Middle East Peace Process, Security in East Asia and moving forward on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan. Mr Browne raised the potential sale of Eurofighter and welcomed Japanese progress towards ratification of the Hague Convention on parental child abduction.

In his meeting with Mr Goshi HOSONO, Minister for the Conclusion of the Nuclear Incident and the Prevention of Reoccurrence, Jeremy Browne offered UK government and industry support for the clean-up and decommissioning of Fukushima, and to share information on UK inspection regimes as Japan looks to introduce new stress tests for reactors. He also confirmed the UK’s commitment to nuclear power as one component of its own low carbon energy mix.

Meeting with Mr Yoshikatsu Nakayama, Vice Minister at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), as well as lunch with Japanese business people, Jeremy Browne welcomed the progress made at the recent EU-Japan Summit, particularly the launch of a scoping study and negotiations towards an EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The UK is supportive of this Agreement. The removal of tariff and non tariff barriers could deliver over forty billion Euros of additional European exports to Japan and more than fifty billion Euros of additional exports from Japan to the European Union.

Calling on Mr Hajime Hirota, Japanese Defence Vice Minister, Jeremy Browne 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.

Before leaving Japan Jeremy Browne said:

“During my meetings in Tokyo I have emphasised to the Japanese government and business representatives that the UK remains committed to our economic relationship as the best way to support economic recovery for both of our countries, following the financial crisis and Japan’s recent terrible natural disasters. We know that Japan’s economic vitality is undimmed. Turning away from Japan would undermine the Japanese economy just when it needs to remain connected to the opportunities offered by the world’s economy.”