UK and Japan agree to strengthen trade and security partnership

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets with Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Kent, Britain May 3, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and Japan agreed to deepen their trade and security cooperation, the British foreign office said in a statement after a meeting between Dominic Raab and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi in London on Monday.

Foreign minister Raab thanked Motegi for Japan’s support for Britain’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a multilateral trade deal that Britain sees as a major part of its post-Brexit push to secure more trade and diplomatic influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The UK and Japan also agreed the basis for deepening further trade and security cooperation,” the foreign office said in the statement, which was issued following bilateral talks ahead of a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting.

Raab also highlighted a British aircraft carrier deployment to Asian waters as an example of Britain’s commitment to the region. The visit is likely to be closely watched as concern grows in Japan over any threat posed to neighbouring Taiwan by China.

“The Foreign Ministers also explored opportunities for increased collaboration in areas of shared interest and where the two countries can share expertise such as economic security, advanced technologies, health and science,” the foreign office said.

Reporting by William James; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson

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