Japan-United Kingdom Relations

September 2, 2020

On September 2, commencing at around 5:00 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. ABE Shinzo, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit telephone talk 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. At the outset, Prime Minister Abe explained that he was stepping down from his position as Prime Minister, and thanked Prime Minister Johnson for his cooperation to date. Prime Minister Johnson responded by expressing his sincere regrets on the matter of Prime Minister Abe's resignation, paying tribute to his great achievements in the international arena and thanking him for making the Japan-UK relationship stronger than ever under his leadership.

2. Prime Minister Abe noted that the two countries have become each other's closest security partners in Asia and Europe respectively, and that security and defense cooperation has intensified dramatically in recent years, including port calls by British naval vessels, joint exercises and measures against “ship-to-ship transfers” by North Korea. The two leaders shared the view that Japan and the UK should play a leading role in responding to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), promoting free trade, and building a post COVID-19 international order. They also affirmed the need to reach an early conclusion of the economic partnership negotiations between Japan and the UK.

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