Fumio Kishida’s first official visit at the invitation of the Government is due to be marked with a guard of honour and an RAF flypast over central London. Downing Street said the leaders are expected to agree in principle a “landmark” reciprocal access agreement (RAA), which would allow Japanese and British forces to deploy together to carry out training, joint exercises and disaster relief activities.
The meeting will boost trade links as the PM announces a new trade envoy to Japan and plans to lift remaining restrictions on food produced from Fukushima.
UK and Japan are expected to agree joint action to help key economies reduce reliance on Russian energy supplies.
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 focused 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.”
The discussion of strengthening the relationship started in September last year.
Downing Street said the agreement would boost the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific and further safeguard global peace and security, and build on the already close collaboration on defence and security technology between both nations.
It follows the Government’s defence and foreign policy integrated review, published last year, which announced a “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific.
In September, Australia, the UK and the US signed up to the Aukus pact to develop nuclear-powered submarines for Canberra in a bid to increase joint naval activity in the region.
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The Government describes Japan as its closest security partner in Asia.
It says the island nation only has two other bilateral visiting forces agreements, one with the United States and the recently agreed RAA signed with Australia in January.
Downing Street said it would allow the UK and Japan to work together to support countries in Asia to develop renewables and help provide alternative supplies to Russian oil and gas.
It said: “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.
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“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.”
Conservative former minister Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, is also set to be announced as the UK’s new trade envoy to Japan.