Japan-United Kingdom Relations

January 23, 2015
 On Wednesday, January 21, commencing at 11:00 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. (UK time), Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was visiting the UK, held a Japan-UK Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with Mr. Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom. The overview is as follows.

1. Fight against terrorism (the Japanese hostage crisis)

  • (1) With regard to the release of a video by ISIL warning of killing two Japanese citizens, Minister Kishida stated that it is an utterly impermissible act to menace holding innocent lives as hostages and that he feels strong indignation. Minister Kishida also said Japan will never yield to terrorism, and will contribute to the counter-terrorism efforts of the international community, and he requested the support of the Government of the UK, including gathering information on the facts of the case and cooperating toward the prompt release of the Japanese nationals concerned.
  • (2) In response, Secretary of State Hammond expressed solidarity with Japan and said the Government of the UK will spare no effort in giving all possible cooperation. He explained that UK citizens have also been taken hostage and killed by ISIL, and the UK wants to share all the information.

2. 70 years since WWII

 Minister Kishida said that Japan’s path as a peaceful nation, for 70 years since the end of WWII, Minister Hammond replied that he wants to make 2015 a year bringing harmony through cooperation between Japan and the UK.

3. Bilateral relations

  • (1) The two ministers shared the view that they will work together on strengthening economic relations, nuclear power cooperation, cooperation on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and a visit to Japan by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.
  • (2) Minister Kishida requested that restrictions on importing items produced in Fukushima Prefecture be abolished or eased.
  • (3) Minister Hammond said he will work actively on realizing the political will to achieve an agreement in principle on the Japan-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2015, and Minister Kishida expressed gratitude for the UK’s support.
  • (4) The two ministers confirmed that they will cooperate on addressing challenges facing the international community, including climate change, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and United Nations Security Council reform.

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