Japan-United Kingdom Relations

September 23, 2020

On September 23, commencing at around 5:15 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, 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 Suga stated that as Prime Minister, he hoped to build a good relationship with Prime Minister Johnson and further strengthen the Japan-UK relationship as strategic partners. In response, Prime Minister Johnson offered his congratulations on Prime Minister Suga’s appointment to office. He also expressed his hope to work with Prime Minister Suga on further developing the relationship between Japan and the UK, which had grown stronger than ever between former Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Johnson.

2. The two leaders welcomed the agreement in principle on the Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Prime Minister Suga also welcomed the UK’s interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP 11) and expressed his intention to work with the UK on issues such as WTO reform. He also voiced his hope that negotiations between the UK and the EU on their future relationship would be concluded within the transition period.

3. Prime Minister Suga welcomed the UK’s increased engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and noted their cooperation in responding to North Korea, including the abductions issue. The two leaders shared the view to strengthen cooperation between Japan and the UK in the field of security for the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” Both leaders recognized the need for Japan and the UK, who will hold the G7 presidency next year, to collaborate in playing leading roles on a variety of issues, including measures against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and climate change.

4. Prime Minister Suga expressed his interest in Prime Minister Johnson's experience as the Mayor of London at the time of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the two leaders shared their intent of working together toward the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

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