The Ninth Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue
On May 3, commencing at 10:35 a.m. (local time: on May 3 at 6:35 p.m. Japan time), Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is currently visiting the United Kingdom (UK), held the Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom, at Chevening House, the residence of the UK Foreign Secretary (located in Kent) for a total of two hours and thirty minutes. The overview of the Dialogue is as follows.
- 1. Foreign Secretary Raab welcomed the first visit by Minister Motegi to the UK since August last year. Minister Motegi stated that he was pleased to meet with Foreign Secretary Raab again and that he wished to express his sincere condolences on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- 2. (1) Minister Motegi welcomed the fact that the UK had announced “Indo-Pacific tilt” in its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy and the two Ministers reaffirmed that they would cooperate toward realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.
- (2) Foreign Secretary Raab gave an explanation about the deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific region, including its port visits to Japan, and Minister Motegi stated that the deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific region symbolized the commitment of the UK to the region, and welcomed the port visits to Japan by the Carrier Strike Group.
- (3) Furthermore, the two Ministers exchanged their views on defence equipment and technical cooperation, and economic security including cybersecurity.
- 3. (1) The two Ministers affirmed that the Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (the Japan-UK EPA) was the foundation for the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries, and confirmed to steadily implement the EPA to further promote trade and investment.
- (2) In relation to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, Minister Motegi stated that predictability and legal stability were essential for Japanese businesses and urged compliance with the UK-EU future relationship agreements.
- (3) Foreign Secretary Raab mentioned the UK’s application to join the CPTPP and in response Minister Motegi stated that he once again welcomed the application.
- (4) Minister Motegi urged the early removal of import restrictions on Japanese food products, taking into account the fact that this year is the tenth year since the Great East Japan Earthquake and also taking into account the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
- 4. (1) The two Ministers exchanged their views on the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and once again shared their serious concerns about China’s recent actions including China’s Coast Guard Law and continued and strengthened unilateral attempts to change the status quo, and confirmed close coordination between Japan and the UK as well as with like-minded partners. Furthermore, the two Ministers shared their serious concerns about the situation surrounding Hong Kong and the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
- (2) The two Ministers reaffirmed that full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions was essential to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Furthermore, Minister Motegi asked for understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and gained the support of Foreign Secretary Raab.
- (3) The two Ministers strongly condemned the situation in Myanmar where a large number of casualties are continuing to occur, despite repeated calls by the international community. Furthermore, the two Ministers welcomed the result of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting as a positive step toward the holding of dialogue, and shared the view on continuing close coordination with the countries concerned and strongly urging the Myanmar military to immediately stop violence against civilians, release those who are detained, and swiftly restore Myanmar's democratic political system.
- 5. (1) Minister Motegi mentioned the fact that Japan had announced that it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 46% in FY2030 from its FY2013 levels, and that efforts will be continued in the challenge to further increase the goal to 50%, and stated that he would like to cooperate with the UK, which will host COP26. In response, Foreign Secretary Raab stated that he welcomed Japan’s announcement of these goals.
- (2) The two Ministers reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism, including the WHO, in the response to COVID-19, and the importance of the ongoing review and reform process by the WHO. Minister Motegi requested the cooperation of the UK for the COVAX AMC Summit which Japan plans to co-host with Gavi in June and gained the support of Foreign Secretary Raab.
- (3) The two Ministers exchanged their views on other global issues as well, including assistance to education in developing countries.