Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk
On May 20, commencing at around 5 p.m. for approximately 35 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a telephone talk with the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom. The overview is as follows.
1. At the outset, Minister Motegi expressed his congratulations on Prime Minister Johnson’s recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In response, Foreign Secretary Raab explained the UK’s response to prevent the spread of infections in the country, including the gradual easing of lockdown measures.
2. Regarding the response to COVID-19, the two ministers concurred on the importance of countries sharing information, lessons learned, and insights, and shared the view to further advance medical cooperation, including the development of medicines and vaccines, and to proceed consultations towards strengthening of the global supply chain.
3. On the WHO, both ministers shared the view that a fair, independent and comprehensive review of the WHO’s function and operation, including its initial responses, should be conducted as early as possible, in order to prepare for similar situations in the future.
4. Minister Motegi stated that Japan is closely following the direction of negotiations between the UK and the EU on their future relationship, from the perspective of minimizing the adverse impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Japanese and UK companies. Foreign Secretary Raab expressed his understanding and explained the current state of negotiations. Both ministers also confirmed that they would continue to work together to quickly establish the future economic partnership between Japan and the UK.
5. The two ministers shared the view to continue to make arrangements for the early holding of the Japan-UK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) in Japan, while taking into account the situation relating to COVID-19.