Japan-United Kingdom Relations
Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers' Meeting
January 23, 2015
On January 21 (Wed.), from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (U.K. time), Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Gen Nakatani, Minister of Defence, who visited the United Kingdom, held a Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting with Mr. Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Mr. Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
- The UK side stated that holding of the Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting immediately after the inauguration of the third Abe Cabinet on the basis of the agreement between leaders of the two countries in May last year shows the importance of this meeting. The two countries shared the view that they would enhance cooperation in the fields of security and defence.
- Regarding the taking hostage of Japanese citizens by ISIL, the UK side expressed its solidarity with Japan and at the same time stated that the UK stands with Japan and expressed its stance to provide maximum support for this case including enhancement of cooperation in the field of intelligence. The Japanese side explained that Japan’s assistance was limited to non-military fields such as support for refugees, then the UK side highly appreciated the assistance from Japan stating that air strikes against ISIL in Iraq were only a part of its measures against ISIL and more comprehensive and long-term measures were required. The two countries confirmed that they would continue their fight against terrorism in cooperation with the international society.
- In order to promote cooperation in the fields of security and defence, the two countries exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and Russia as well as Asia including China, North Korea, and the South China Sea for the purpose of sharing strategic recognition on the current situation. Moreover, the two countries also exchanged views on the counter measures against global threats that international society faces namely Ebola and ISIL..
- The two countries also gave explanations on the security policies of their own countries and the UK side stated that Japan’s efforts on the development of security legislation was important for the UK as well and welcomed it. Moreover, the two countries confirmed that they would promote cooperation in defense equipment and technology such as exchanges of opinions concerning procurement of defense equipment between the two countries including off-set contract, dialogues and cooperation in the field of cyberspace. The UK side expressed its high expectation toward an early conclusion of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and the two countries shared the view that they would proceed preparation for the conclusion of the ACSA as soon as possible, based on the decision between leaders of the two countries and the progress of Japan’s efforts on the development of the security legislation.
- The two countries appreciated the meeting was meaningful.
The four ministers shared the view that they would hold the next meeting in Tokyo at a mutually convenient time.