Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson & Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
UK and Japan press conference
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s full speech
Thank you very much, Fumio.
I’m actually absolutely delighted to be back here in Japan and thank you for the warm welcome that you have given us. I went for a run this morning, as I do when I’m in Tokyo, anticlockwise around the Imperial Palace and I want you know I was overtaken by absolutely everybody, of all ages. Well everybody was running much faster than me but my ego can survive this because yesterday I saw a robot, a Japanese robot, that could run faster than me and so I’m full of admiration, I know what an amazing place this is. What an amazing, inventive, dynamic economy Japan is.
But what we’re trying to do here today, Fumio and I, is to build on that relationship and that partnership and I’ve no doubt at all that it is going to get stronger and stronger. I’ve seen some fantastic examples of UK exports to Japan. A Honda Civic, by the way made in Swindon that I drove yesterday. And Japanese investments in the UK contrary to some of the gloomy stuff that you might see in some of the media, Japanese investments in the UK are at record high since the Brexit vote last year and I have no doubt at all that we are going to build a fantastic relationship with our friends and partners in the EU. We’re leaving the EU but we’re not leaving Europe. And one that allows us to continue to build our commercial and economic relations with Japan.
As you’ve mentioned Fumio, we share the same values and we share the same security threats, we face the same foes including from terrorism and indeed North Korea. And I want to stress that Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violations of United Nations resolutions. Two weeks ago we saw the test of an ICBM, unquestionably an ICBM, that landed in the Sea of Japan in what can only be called a reckless provocation. We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.
The UK has been in the forefront of that effort whether it’s the United Nations Security Council, or with our friends and partners in Europe and again here today in Japan. The threats that confront us are global and so our co-operation between the UK and Japan is now truly global. Britain and Japan work hand in glove in the UN Security Council on issues ranging from Syria to South Sudan. In Africa we’re working together on de-mining projects in Angola and we jointly trained peacekeepers in Senegal. Last year, The Royal Air Force sent typhoon fighters to Japan where they became the first non US Air Force to exercise alongside their Japanese counterparts. And I’m delighted that Britain is going to be using our expertise in hosting London 2012 to help ensure Japan Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are just as successful, as I’m sure indeed that they will be.
Counter-terrorism and cyber security, our particular focuses of our co-operation both between government and business and as an example of the growing UK Japan cyber co-operation, I welcome the signing yesterday of a strategic partnership between the UK company Darktrace, and NEC Networks and System Integration, Corporation.
Fumio, thank you for welcoming us today and thank you for the friendship and the partnership between us. This is a unique relationship between the UK and Japan. We have no other relationship like this. This is a partnership between 2 democracies, and by the way 2 constitutional monarchies, 2 island nations that share a great deal. Not just our belief in free-trade, our belief in democracy, but of course our joint belief in the rules based international order which we uphold.
Thank you very much everybody and thank you Fumio for welcoming us today.