Japan-United Kingdom Relations

Japan-United Kingdom Relations (Basic Data)

October 31, 2017

Basic Data

Diplomatic Relations:

  • Established in October 1854 with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Trade.

Japanese Nationals:

  • Number of Japanese nationals residing in UK: 64,969 (June, 2016)
  • Number of British nationals residing in Japan: 15,652 (June, 2016)

Trade with Japan (2016):

  • Exports to the UK: 1.48 trillion yen (cars, power engines, car parts)
  • Imports from the UK: 0.71 trillion yen (medical and pharmaceutical products, cars, power engines)

Direct Investment from Japan:

  • 13.39 trillion yen (stock, as of 2016).

VIP Visits

From Japan to United Kingdom:
Year Name
2011 Foreign Minister Takaaki Matumoto (May)
2012 Their Majesty The Emperor and Empress (May)
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba (Oct)
2013 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (April)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (June)
2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (April-May)
2015 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (January)
Defence Minister Gen Nakatani (January)
2016 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (May)
2017 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (April)
From United Kingdom to Japan:
Year Name
2010 Foreign Secretary William Hague (July)
2012 Prime Minister David Cameron (April)
2013 Foreign Secretary William Hague (October)
2014 Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza (September)
2015 H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge (February-March)
Speaker John Bercow (August)
2016 Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, Defence Minister Michael Fallon (January)
Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond (April),
Prime Minister David Cameron (May),
Speaker John Bercow (September),
2017 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (July)
Prime Minister Theresa May (August-September)

Recent Trend

Prime Minister May's visit to Japan (August, 2017)

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Shinzo Abe the Prime Minister of Japan held a summit meeting in Tokyo on 31 August 2017, during Prime Minister Theresa May's official visit to Japan.

The two Prime Ministers reviewed the state of the bilateral relationship between Japan and the UK and reaffirmed the global strategic partnership between the two countries, based on shared strategic interests and fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The two Prime Ministers committed to exercising their leadership to maintain the rules-based international system as the closest security partners respectively in Asia and Europe. And they committed to elevating the Japan-UK global security partnership to the next level, through comprehensively enhancing security, economic, and prosperity cooperation between Japan and the UK.

Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers Meeting (January 2016)

Then Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and then Defence Minister Gen Nakatani met UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in Tokyo for the second Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers Meeting.

The Ministers reaffirmed the dynamic strategic partnership between the two countries, as expressed in the Joint Statement on the occasion of Prime Minister Abe's visit to the UK in May 2014. The Ministers recognised our shared values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and open and transparent markets. They noted that, as close partners, Japan and the UK continue to deepen their cooperation to uphold the international system and norms. The Ministers confirmed that Japan and the UK would cooperate to tackle global security challenges, including through disaster relief and a greater role in UN peacekeeping. Recognising Japan as its closest security partner in Asia, the UK welcomed Japan's Legislation for Peace and Security, and supported Japan playing a more proactive role in securing global peace, stability and prosperity through its policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in London in 2017.

JET Programme

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme seeks to help enhance internationalization in Japan, by promoting mutual understanding between Japan and other nations. This programme has so far given more than 10,000 young people in the UK the opportunity to learn more about Japan, through their experience as Assistant Language Teacher, Coordinator for International Relations, or Sports Exchange Advisor. JET participants play important roles for a better mutual understanding between people the two countries.

UK-Japan 21st Century Group

The UK-Japan 21st Century Group is an advisory group, established in 1985 as UK-Japan 2000 Group, to study Japan-UK cooperation, based on an agreement between then Prime Minister Nakasone and Prime Minister Thatcher. It is a custom that recommendations adopted through discussions at the meeting are submitted to the Prime Ministers of the two countries. The group was convened most recently in the UK in September 2017.