Sunak underlines strength of Japan ties with signing of military deal

London, Jan 11 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s relationship with Japan is now “stronger than ever”, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Wednesday, as he welcomed his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, to London for a working visit.

The two leaders held a bilateral meeting at the Tower of London before signing the so-called Reciprocal Access Agreement, a historic defense treaty that will allow the armed forces of both countries to be deployed in each other’s territories.

It is the first agreement of its kind in Europe and the UK’s most wide ranging with the Asian country since 1902.

In brief remarks to reporters ahead of their meeting, Sunak said: “It is fantastic to welcome you to London and the UK, and it’s a great pleasure to have you in the Tower of London.”

“The relationship between our two countries is stronger than ever, not just across trade and security but also our values, and I think we saw that brilliantly demonstrated last year,” the Conservative leader said, referring to support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

Sunak offered “whole-hearted support” for Tokyo’s agenda for the G7, which Japan will chair at the end of the year.

The PM also told the Japanese leader that the UK “warmly welcomes [Japan’s] ambition in its national security strategy”.

Kishida, meanwhile, thanked Sunak for his “warm hospitality” on his visit to this country.

During the event at the Tower of London, the leaders also visited the exhibition of Japanese armor, which was presented by Japan in 1613 to mark the first Anglo-Japanese trade agreement.

The aforementioned defense treaty, as Downing Street had already announced in a statement, will be submitted to the British House of Commons and the Japanese Diet for approval in the coming weeks. EFE


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