Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has arrived in Tokyo for important talks on deepening the security and defence partnership between the UK and Japan.
North Korea’s recent nuclear test, which has prompted widespread international condemnation and heightened tensions in the Far East, will be top of the agenda.
In the second Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting today (Friday), Mr Hammond will discuss continued cooperation on tackling global security challenges with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, alongside UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and his opposite number Gen Nakatani.
Mr Hammond will also meet Prime Minister Abe and reaffirm Britain’s commitment to working together to uphold the rules-based international system. It follows urgent discussions about North Korea in recent days with Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers.
The visit to Japan is the final stop of a three-country tour, which included China and the Philippines. In Japan, the Foreign Secretary will visit Nissan HQ, Hitachi and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
The Foreign Secretary said:
“The UK and Japan are close allies. We enjoy a strong, historic relationship, based on common values and support for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and open markets.
I am pleased that last summer the Japanese parliament passed legislation allowing Japan to play a greater role in international peace and security. In November 2015, the UK published its Strategic Defence and Security Review, which describes Japan as our closest security partner in Asia. In 2016 we look forward to working closely with Japan as it takes up a seat on the UN Security Council and chairs the G7 summit.
The long-term security of both the UK and Japan depend on upholding a stable international system. We will continue to work closely together to contribute to global prosperity, peace and security.
The world today is increasingly dangerous, complex and uncertain. We face growing threats from terrorism and extremism, a resurgence in state-based threats including nuclear proliferation, and an escalation in challenges to our cyber security and to the rules-based international order. It is more important than ever for the UK to work with allies like Japan to counter these threats.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the UK is continuing to play a central role on the issues that matter and is working with allies like Japan to safeguard national security, as well as building our prosperity overseas.”