Japan-United Kingdom Relations
Japan-UK Summit Telephone Talk
On December 21, commencing at around 3:30 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, spoke on the phone with the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The overview of the talk is as follows.
1. Prime Minister Abe congratulated Prime Minister Johnson on the historic election victory, that is the party’s biggest since Prime Minister Thatcher, and expressed his desire to “work hand in hand with Boris to further strengthen the good relations between Japan and the UK, dating from the days of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.” He also extended his condolences following the London Bridge attack on November 29. In response, Prime Minister Johnson congratulated Prime Minister Abe on the success of the Rugby World Cup held in Japan and expressed his desire to sustain momentum for further deepening friendly relations between Japan and the UK through both security and defense cooperation and trade.
2. Regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Prime Minister Abe expressed his strong hope that the country would deliver an exit in a manner that would minimize any impacts on the economic activities of Japanese businesses and on the world economy, followed by swift negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. In response, Prime Minister Johnson stated his intent to deliver a swift and smooth Brexit that would produce the maximum stability for stakeholders.
Prime Minister Abe also expressed his intent to quickly establish an ambitious future economic partnership between Japan and the UK after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU as he had shared the view with Prime Minister Johnson of ensuring that the businesses of both countries would be able to maintain their economic activities in a smooth and stable manner, while stating that Japan would continue to support the UK for its potential accession to the TPP11. In response, Prime Minister Johnson stated his desire to enter into discussions regarding an ambitious future economic partnership between Japan and the UK based on the Japan-EU EPA as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU by the end of January 2020.
3. The two leaders shared the view on the intention to further promote the cooperation between Japan and the UK in their work, towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific together.