Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talks

September 8, 2011

  1. On Thursday, September 8, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held telephone talks with Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  2. An overview of the telephone talks is as follows:
    (1) At the start, Mr Gemba introduced himself as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, in response to which Mr Hague congratulated Mr Gemba for his appointment. Mr Gemba reiterated his gratitude to the UK’s previous assistance and proposal for further assistance with reconstruction of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and with response to the nuclear incident, adding that he himself was born in Fukushima Prefecture. Mr Gemba also thanked Mr Hague for his stance of placing importance on the Japan-UK relationship.
    (2) Mr Hague said that Japan is the UK’s closest friend in Asia, that he looks forward to working together with Mr Gemba, and that he intends to continue his efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship. In response, Mr Gemba said that his intention is the same, and that as there exist elements of uncertainty in Asia which at the same time is driving world economic growth, Japan intends to build a multi-layered network that is open to the region and a mechanism for rule-making, and is eager to work with the UK which shares common values with Japan.
    (3) Besides the above, the two leaders also exchanged views on the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement (EPA), the situation in Libya and other matters, and confirmed that they will continue cooperating closely to strengthen the bilateral relationship.
    • (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)