Press release

UK-Japan Joint Statement

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

As part of a two day visit to the UK by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, the UK and Japan released the following joint statement.

Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

UK-Japan Joint Statement: A dynamic strategic partnership for the 21st century

The United Kingdom (UK) and Japan reaffirm the dynamic strategic partnership between our two countries, based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and open and transparent markets. It is a relationship with a long history, while firmly oriented to the future.

We have decided to reinforce our collaboration in the areas of: global peace and security; global growth and prosperity; and science, technology, innovation, education and culture.

Global Peace and Security

We make a mutual commitment to defend and protect the global commons, on the high seas, in cyberspace, and in outer space, to work together to support an international system based on the rule of law and international norms. We will do this to further our joint national interest in free trade, an open international system, and to enhance international peace and security. We do so in line with the principles of the United Nations, and within the framework of our individual constitutional arrangements.

We reaffirm that a stable security environment is conducive to social and economic prosperity, and recognising the increasing importance of the East Asia region, that its stability is vital to global prosperity and security. We reaffirm our common commitment to the peaceful settlement of conflicts in any part of the world. We reconfirm our commitment to universally-agreed principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and that freedom and safety of navigation and overflight serve both our interests and those of the international community, including in the field of maritime affairs.

Japan has explained to the UK its “Proactive Contributor to Peace” policy. The UK welcomes a more active role for Japan in international efforts to secure peace, stability and prosperity. Building on existing cooperation in this area, we have decided to develop a comprehensive framework for our future collaboration. As part of this, we will start negotiations on an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement at an early date, to provide logistic, technical and administrative support to each other’s forces. In addition, subject to the relevant laws and regulations of each other’s countries, we will examine the opportunities and develop proposals for cooperation in the following areas:

  1. joint contributions to international efforts towards maintaining international peace and stability;
  2. receiving and providing support to each other’s visiting military personnel and assets;
  3. permitting each other’s forces to visit each other subject to specific administrative processes;
  4. supporting each other’s forces when deployed on operations together;
  5. establishing a new mechanism to share information and analysis that supports the purposes of our cooperation;
  6. a programme of joint exercises between our two militaries.

We will hold a Foreign and Defence ministerial meeting in London to exchange views on security and defence to make specific proposals to develop the above framework.

We will continue to identify a range of appropriate defence equipment projects for joint development and production, subject to relevant laws and regulations, building on the agreements signed in July 2013 and our other cooperation in these areas in the last two years.

We will work closely in the areas of security, policing and cyber security, not least given the UK’s experience of hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to assist Japan as it prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The UK and Japan are both supporters of a free, open and secure internet. We will work closely in international fora for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. We look forward to the next round of the UK-Japan Cyber Dialogue, and will continue to support the work of the UN Group of Government Experts.

We are committed to working together to reduce the risk of terrorism for our citizens, including from home-grown terrorism, and for our partners overseas. We need a co-ordinated and coherent approach to tackle the spread of terrorism and address the drivers of instability in northern Africa and the Sahel. We unequivocally reject the payment of ransoms to terrorists in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2133 (2014). We will work together in the field of maritime security to tackle piracy against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulfs of Aden and Guinea.

We are determined to enhance further cooperation in the area of disarmament, non-proliferation and conventional arms control, and export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies. We will uphold the Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and promote the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. We will cooperate on preparations for the next Review Conference in 2015. As co-authors, we will also strongly support the entry into force and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. The UK notes the contributions of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative and Japan’s hosting of the Hiroshima Ministerial Meeting in April. We will enhance cooperation on improvement of sanctions regimes including full implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions.

The UK welcomes the NATO-Japan partnership and looks forward to hosting the NATO Summit in September.

We condemn the continuing systematic appalling violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and urge the DPRK to take immediate steps to address humanitarian concerns, including the abductions issues. We underline the need for the DPRK to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes as well as its ballistic missile programmes in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, and to return to compliance with the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

We fully support the continued democratic and economic transformation and national reconciliation taking place in Burma/Myanmar. We urge Burma/Myanmar to deliver constitutional and electoral reform in order to ensure that the elections in 2015 are credible, inclusive and transparent and to find a long term solution to the situation in Rakhine State.

The UK and Japan share the objective of supporting Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation, improvement of its human rights situation, and including the issue of accountability, and plan a working-level dialogue on South Asia, including Sri Lanka.

We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and call on the Assad regime to cease their arbitrary obstruction of aid delivery and constructively engage with the political process.

We urge Iran to improve its human rights situation and to cooperate fully with the United Nations to this end. We welcome recent progress in E3+3 talks aimed at a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear programme as well as the Framework for Cooperation between the IAEA and Iran in order to address international concern regarding Iran’s nuclear activities. We are also of the view that continued implementation of the Joint Plan of Action is essential.

We pledge our continued support for the political and economic reforms in the Middle East and North Africa region. The UK welcomes Japan’s decision to increase its contribution to international efforts to improve stability and security in Libya, notably through weapons security and destruction programmes.

We reiterate that Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea is a clear violation of international law and is a serious challenge to the rule of law around the world, and emphasise our support and respect for the democratic process in Ukraine, including the upcoming presidential elections. We reaffirm our common commitment to the peaceful settlement of conflicts in any part of the world. As set out in the G7 statements of 24 March and 26 April, the G7 is united in its strong condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions. We welcome the Contact Group’s steps to de-escalate tension, and reiterate that the international community hopes for quick and visible progress to de-escalate tension, while prepared to take further steps as appropriate.

Global Growth and Prosperity

We welcome progress in revitalising the UK and Japanese economies, and will work together to share experience in areas including macroeconomic policies and wide-ranging structural reforms. Both countries hope that this will open up new business and investment opportunities. We welcome the many recent announcements that demonstrate the strength of our business relationship.

We reiterate our commitment to transparent economies, government and societies, and the UK welcomes Japan’s willingness to accelerate the process of consideration towards joining the Open Government Partnership, which Japan considers an important initiative. We have also decided to work together to promote strong principles of corporate governance.

The UK and Japan continue to discuss the issue of UK beef exports to Japan in accordance with the established procedures of the Japanese government. The UK will actively participate in the European Commission’s review of the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exported from Japan to eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade.

The UK and Japan are determined to reinforce our strong economic partnership, aiming to reach agreement in principle encompassing all the key issues on a comprehensive EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement during 2015. This will address market access issues with regard to trade in goods and services, and investment and procurement. We are also committed to ongoing negotiations on the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

The UK and Japan share the intention to increase cooperation in international economic fora. We will work closely together to achieve successful outcomes through the G7 this year, including at the meeting of leaders in June and the meeting of G7 energy ministers. We are committed to strengthening the multilateral trading system, including early implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. We will make progress towards common global reporting standards to make extractive industry payments more transparent.

We reiterate our commitment to lead by example in the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards and early implementation of our beneficial ownership national Action Plans. In this respect, Japan will give serious consideration to creating a mechanism, based on the Japan Action Plan, to prevent the misuse of companies and legal arrangements, bearing in mind the G8 Action Plan Principles which include ideas such as a public central registry of beneficial ownership information.

Both sides give full support to the G20/OECD BEPS Action Plan and express their strong support for the new standard in Automatic Exchange of Information, as adopted by the OECD. The UK and Japan call for swift adoption of the new global standard on automatic exchange of tax information by all financial centres according to our respective implementation plans to be detailed at the September meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Japan welcomes the efforts of jurisdictions, including the UK, towards the early adoption of the standard, and will accelerate the process of consideration.

We will work together, including on outreach to South East Asian countries, as Chair and Vice-Chair of the OECD Ministerial in Paris on 6-7 May.

The UK and Japan welcome plans by the UK Prudential Regulation Authority and Japan’s Financial Services Agency to exchange staff. This step helps spread regulatory best practice internationally and further cements the close economic ties between two of the world’s leading financial industries.

The UK and Japan look forward to a successful 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We welcome the signing of the UK-Japan Host to Host Memorandum of Cooperation, through which we will share experience of the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as Japan prepares for its own Games, and of the England and Japan Rugby World Cups taking place in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

The UK commends the continued resilience of the Japanese people after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011. Also, the UK welcomed Japan’s new Strategic Energy Plan, which includes global, peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy and acceleration of the introduction of renewable energy. Both countries are working together to promote the development of clean energy, including by facilitating business cooperation and deepening civil nuclear cooperation. The UK and Japan will continue to work together to support the ongoing decommissioning efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, consistent with the Japan-UK Framework on Civil Nuclear Cooperation and our annual Nuclear Dialogue, and through support for the recently established Nuclear Regulation Authority. We will continue to collaborate to ensure that the structures are in place to allow foreign companies to supply their expertise in the area of nuclear decommissioning.

We affirm that climate change poses a major threat to the global economy and requires strong, coordinated action in international fora, and believe that nuclear energy will play a crucial part in achieving a low carbon, affordable and secure energy mix. We understand that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a view to limiting the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. To this end, the UK and Japan reaffirm our long-term goal of reducing emissions along with other developed countries in aggregate by 80% or more, as part of the goal to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2050. We believe that the only credible way to decisively reduce greenhouse gas emissions is through a new, ambitious, global deal applicable to all Parties and agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Paris in 2015, and which strengthens the multilateral, rules-based regime. We are ready to show the requisite leadership, including at the UN Secretary General’s Leaders’ Summit in September and through enhanced domestic and international actions to reduce emissions. We will prepare and communicate our nationally determined contributions, based on the COP19 decisions which invite us to do so well in advance of COP21 and by the first quarter of 2015 if we are ready. Our separate joint statement on climate change and energy sets out how we will work together in some of these areas.

The UK and Japan will further collaborate in the field of development. The UK and Japan welcome the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda and will work together to secure a simple, measurable set of goals, centred on eradicating extreme poverty and with sustainable development at the core, and including issues of peaceful and non-violent societies and good governance and the rule of law, that ensure human security. The UK and Japan will explore ways to work together with global partners to maintain momentum in tackling hunger and undernutrition in follow up to the Olympics and Nutrition process started during the London 2012 Games and leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

We resolve to work together on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative ahead of the June Summit in London, and Japan is ready to play a key role in the June 2014 Summit. The UK and Japan are committed to closer cooperation and sharing of experience in the field of criminal justice.

Science, Technology, Innovation, Education and Culture

The UK and Japan underline the importance of cooperation in science, technology and innovation in driving economic growth and addressing global issues. We expect the UK-Japan Joint Committee on Cooperation in Science and Technology to set the future direction in this area. We welcome the Japan-UK Universities Conference in May as a way of increasing collaboration between our key Higher Education institutions. We continue to support the Japan-UK 21st Century Group, an important annual forum consisting of prominent people in a diverse range of fields.

We note the importance of a coordinated approach to global healthcare challenges, and share the intention to pursue further cooperation on anti-microbial resistance and for achieving Universal Health Coverage. Japan welcomes UK leadership on global efforts on dementia, including the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit, and will host a follow-up event this year.

The UK and Japan acknowledge the importance of student and intellectual exchange and will encourage further cooperation in this field. The UK and Japan reaffirm the contributions which the JET programme has made to our bilateral ties; both sides look forward to continued active participation by UK applicants.

The UK will contribute to the goal of increasing English-language teaching in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, including through the provision of internationally-validated English language assessment, such as IELTS, and Japan will work with the UK to promote Japanese language education in the UK.

The UK also offers to share experience from the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, building on our existing strong cultural relationship.

Further information

New agreement to help UK companies win work at Tokyo Olympics

UK–Japan joint statement on climate change and energy cooperation

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Published 1 May 2014