UK and Japan set to rapidly accelerate defence and security ties with landmark agreement

  • PM will host Japanese leader Fumio Kishida in London today as an RAF fly-past marks his first Guest of Government visit to the UK.

  • Leaders expected to agree in principle a landmark new defence agreement to deepen military ties in the Indo-Pacific.

  • UK and Japan expected to agree joint action to help key economies reduce reliance on Russian energy supplies.

  • Meeting will boost trade links as PM announces new trade envoy to Japan and plans to lifts remaining restrictions on food produce from Fukushima.

The Prime Minister will host his Japanese counterpart today to deepen the UK’s relationship with our closest Asian security partner, and rapidly accelerate collaboration across defence, trade and green energy.

The leaders will agree in principle a Reciprocal Access Agreement, allowing Japanese and British forces to work, exercise and operate together, boosting the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific and further safeguarding global peace and security. The UK will be the first European country to have such an agreement with Japan.

The landmark defence partnership, which will see UK and Japanese Armed Forces deploy together to carry out training, joint exercises and disaster relief activities, will build on our already close collaboration on defence and security technology, such as the Future Combat Air System programme.

Symbolic of the UK and Japan’s close ties, the leaders will observe a Royal Air Force fly past and inspect a Guard of Honour as part of the official welcome to the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Kishida.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

As two great island democracies, and the third and fifth largest economies in the world, the UK and Japan are focussed on driving growth, creating highly skilled jobs and ensuring we remain technology superpowers.

The visit of Prime Minister Kishida will accelerate our close defence relationship and build on our trade partnership to boost major infrastructure projects across the country – supporting our levelling up agenda.

As two G7 leaders and each other’s closest security partners in Asia and Europe respectively, tomorrow’s bilateral meetings are expected to focus on Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and how international alliances can continue to exert maximum pressure on President Putin’s regime while supporting Ukraine and other European countries affected by the barbaric invasion.

They are also expected to agree closer collaboration as part of the UK’s Clean Green Initiative, allowing the UK and Japan to work together to support countries in Asia develop renewables, supporting their transition to green energy and helping to provide alternative supplies to Russian oil and gas.

Deepening trade and investment ties, the Prime Minister will also announce a new trade envoy to Japan – accelerating the strong trade and investment relationship between the two countries.

Greg Clark MP has been chosen to spearhead the next chapter between the UK and Japan, as Japanese companies invest billions of pounds into the UK economy through major infrastructure projects, including windfarms and high speed rail. The announcement comes as the UK negotiates accession to CPTPP, an Indo-Pacific trade block worth $11trn. Japan is chair of the UK accession working group to CPTPP.

During the meeting at Downing Street, the leaders are expected to enjoy food products from the Fukushima region, including Japanese popcorn, as part of the marking the lifting of remaining restrictions on food products from the Japanese region.

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