Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Taro Aso by British Members of the UK-Japan 21st-Century Group

February 20, 2009

Prime Minister Taro Aso received a courtesy call by British members of the UK-Japan 21st-Century Group at his official residence from 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 p.m. on February 20 (Friday) (JST). The summary of the visit is as follows:

  1. Prime Minister Aso welcomed British members of the UK-Japan 21st-Century Group, including Rt Hon Lord Cunningham of Felling, the UK co-chairman. Noting the good relations between Japan and the UK, Prime Minister Aso stated that last year's visit to Japan by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as well as the many events that took place in both countries in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations were successful and provided good opportunities to deepen the friendship between the two countries.

    Prime Minister Aso congratulated the UK-Japan 21st-Century Group on its 25th anniversary. He expressed his respect for the Group's contributions to strengthening the UK-Japan relationship, referring to its specific achievements, including an increasing number of participants in the JET Program and the introduction of the working-holiday scheme.
  2. In response, Lord Cunningham thanked Prime Minister Aso for giving time to welcome the British members of the UK-Japan 21st-Century Group and handed Prime Minister Aso a letter from Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the UK. In the letter, Prime Minister Brown expressed his hope that the two countries would work closely towards a successful outcome of the London Summit (Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy). Lord Cunningham said Japan and the UK had much in common and underscored the importance of the two countries joining forces towards a recovery of the global economy, tackling climate change and other global issues.
  3. Finally, Prime Minister Aso expressed his hope that the 25th meeting of the 21st-Century Group would produce action-oriented recommendations and requested the visiting members for further cooperation and devotion towards the consolidation of the Japan-UK relationship.

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