Japan-UK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Overview)
On Thursday, September 27 (local time), Mr. Koichiro Gemba, who was visiting New York, to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting with Rt. Hon William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, for approximately 30 minutes from 3:15 pm. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
1. At the beginning
Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude for the UK Government’s cooperation for a successful visit to the UK by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, congratulated the success of the London Olympic Games, and stated that such events made Japanese people feel closer to the UK. In response to this, Foreign Secretary Hague stated that the participation and success of many Japanese athletes in the Olympic Games were wonderful.
2. Bilateral relations
Both foreign ministers shared views on steadily enhancing cooperation in security, defense, and nuclear fields based on the Japan-UK Joint Statement released on the occasion of the visit to Japan by Rt. Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in April and making adjustments to hold a foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue at an early date. Minister Gemba welcomed an acceptance of order for the high-speed railway project by a corporate union mainly consisting of Japanese firms and expressed his expectation that this would lead to further strengthening of Japan-UK economic relations. Moreover, Minister Gemba stated that support from the UK would be important for the promotion and conclusion of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which will contribute to economic growth of both Japan and the EU. In addition, concerning the development of Africa, Minister Gemba stated that he would like to strengthen coordination between Japan, which will host the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), and the UK, which will assume the G8 presidency next year. In response to this, Foreign Secretary Hague stated that he would like to strongly support and cooperate with Japan for the beginning of negotiations on and conclusion of Japan-EU EPA negotiations and also stated that he would like to strengthen relationships with Japan in various fields including the development of Africa.
Foreign Secretary Hague welcomed the decreased import of crude oil by Japan from Iran as a way to help solve Iran’s nuclear development issue. In response to this, Minister Gemba stated that the Government of Japan supports the EU 3+3 approach to achieve a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the problem, would urge Iran to stop nuclear development based on the “dialogue” and “pressure” approach by leveraging the traditionally friendly Japan-Iran relations, and cooperate with the international circle for the solution of this problem.
4. Regional situations, etc.
Minister Gemba explained Japan’s stance concerning current Japan-China relations and both parties also exchanged opinions on international issues.
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