The Fourth Japan-UK Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue
On August 8, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, held the Fourth Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue. The outline of the dialogue is as follows. (Approximately 60 minute consultations from 10:55 a.m., followed by a joint press conference and an approximately 90 minute working lunch from 12:10 p.m.)
- (1) Minister Kishida expressed his congratulations on the inauguration of the Second Cameron Administration and the reappointment of Secretary Hammond following the general election in the United Kingdom in May. He also stated his desire to have the two countries, as important partners that share common fundamental values and leaders of the international community, collaborate closely in meeting the challenges confronting the international community and send out a forward-looking message together.
- (2) In response, Secretary Hammond expressed his pleasure at being able to meet Minister Kishida again after the Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (2+2) in January and the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in April. He further stated his desire that Japan and the United Kingdom, which share common values, be the driving force in cooperating to strengthen the rule-based international system for the benefit of the peace and prosperity of the international community.
- (1) Minister Kishida explained the efforts to establish the Legislation for Peace and Security as a manifestation of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. In response, Secretary Hammond stated that he strongly supported the Japanese efforts and that Japan should be welcomed to play an even greater role for the security of the international community.
- (2) The two ministers agreed to promote cooperation between Japan and the United Kingdom towards the next Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting.
3. Regional Situations
- (1) Minister Kishida gave an explanation of the latest situation of the security environment in East Asia. The two ministers agreed that it is important to secure principles such as “the rule of law” and freedom of navigation, and confirmed that they would be collaborating closely.
- (2) The two ministers discussed the situation of Ukraine and Russia. The two ministers confirmed the position that unilateral changes of the status quo by force including the annexation of Crimea cannot be allowed. At the same time, they agreed that it was important to talk with Russia in order to secure its engagement in dealing with the strategic issues that the international community is facing and that they would be collaborating closely to respond.
- (3) The two ministers also discussed the situation in the Middle East including Syria and ISIL, the situation of North Korea including the abductions issue and the nuclear and missile development issues, and the Japan-ROK relation.
4. Response to Global Challenges
- (1) The two ministers confirmed their close collaboration towards the success of the Ise-Shima Summit and the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima next year. Minister Kishida stated that he hoped that a powerful message seeking a “world free of nuclear weapons” would be issued at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima.
- (2) The two ministers discussed the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation including the Iranian nuclear issue, and confirmed their close collaboration.
- (3) The two ministers shared the view that they would collaborate closely concerning issues such as the United Nations Security Council reform.
- (1) Minister Kishida expressed his desire to cooperate with the United Kingdom towards agreement in principle on the Japan-EU EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) within the year, and said that the early conclusion of the SPA (Strategic Partnership Agreement) is important. In response, Secretary Hammond stated that the United Kingdom places importance on the economic relationship with Japan and strongly supports the Japan-EU EPA.
- (2) The two ministers also agreed to further strengthen the economic relationship between Japan and the United Kingdom, keeping in mind the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.