Meeting between Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
May 29, 2007
On 22 May, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a foreign ministerial meeting and a dinner with Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), for about 2 hours from around 19:30 at Iikura House. The gist of the meeting is as follows:
- Following his welcome, Mr. Aso stated that “Japan and UK have kept a friendly relationship and been cooperating closely in dealing with various international issues. Japan expects to further advance this cooperative relationship toward the year of 2008, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Japan-UK diplomatic relationship.” Mrs. Beckett said, “The bilateral relationship is extremely good, and I highly evaluate Japan’s role in the international community. There still remains much room for Japan-UK cooperation. I would like to further enhance the cooperation.”
- Regarding the murder of Miss Lindsay Hawker, Mrs. Beckett said, “I appreciate the cooperation of the Japanese police, and would like to ask for continued cooperation to solve the case.” Mr. Aso replied, “The police authorities have been investigating the case earnestly, and I strongly hope for an early solution.”
- On climate change, both sides decided to hold Director-General-level consultations, and the first consultations had already been held today prior to this meeting. The Foreign Ministers welcomed close cooperation between the two countries since the Glenn Eagles Summit in 2005 and agreed to further promote Japan-UK cooperation toward building an effective international framework with the participation of the major emitters.
- On the matter of international development, the two ministers also agreed to promote political consultations and cooperation at field level, strengthen the cooperative relationship for development in Africa toward TICAD IV and mutually exchange officials between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the UK Department for International Development as early as September.
- On other matters, the two Foreign Ministers confirmed that they would continue cooperating for reform of the United Nations Security Council, including Japan’s accession to permanent membership, and also agreed to continue collaborating on numerous international issues such as North Korea, Iraq and Darfur, taking into account the Japan-UK Joint Statement.