- PM set to agree historic ‘Hiroshima Accord’ on UK-Japan economic, security and tech collaboration
- UK to step up defence cooperation with Japan to uphold stability in the Indo-Pacific
- PM will visit a naval base and host a business reception in Tokyo before travelling to Hiroshima to meet Prime Minister Kishida ahead of G7
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will agree a landmark new global strategic partnership, ‘The Hiroshima Accord’ when they meet in the city later today [Thursday 18th May].
The UK’s relationship with Japan has grown further and faster than with any other international partner, reflecting Japan’s pivotal role in the Indo-Pacific and their centrality to the UK’s security and prosperity. In the last six months, we have completed negotiations to join the CPTPP trade bloc, launched the UK-Japan-Italy Global Combat Air Programme and signed a ground-breaking defence Reciprocal Access Agreement.
The Hiroshima Accord will cement this relationship, with new agreements on defence, trade and investment, science and technology collaboration, and joint work on tackling global issues like climate change.
Arriving in Tokyo on Thursday, the Prime Minister will visit a naval base and confirm new UK-Japan defence cooperation. This includes doubling UK troop numbers in upcoming joint exercises, committing to deploy the Carrier Strike Group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025 and agreeing a formal Consult Clause, whereby the UK and Japan commit to consult each other on important regional and global security issues and consider measures in response.
We are also launching a set of science and technology programmes to support UK-Japan collaboration at every stage of the pipeline, from early career researchers through to bringing new innovations to market. It includes a new strategic relationship between Imperial College London and the University of Tokyo, built on collaboration with Hitachi Ltd, to develop a UK-Japan Cleantech Innovation Hub and scale up the rapid development of green technologies.
As part of the new Accord, the UK and Japan will launch a Semiconductors Partnership, with new commitments to pursue ambitious R&D cooperation and skills exchange, strengthening our domestic sectors and bolstering supply chain resilience in an increasingly competitive market.
Later on Thursday, the Prime Minister will host a reception of key Japanese business leaders in Tokyo to reiterate the importance of our trade and investment relationship. He is expected to confirm billions of pounds of new job creating investments in the UK.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
It is a privilege to be visiting Tokyo and Hiroshima at this historic moment in the United Kingdom’s relationship with Japan.
Prime Minister Kishida and I are closely aligned on the importance of protecting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and defending our values, including free and fair trade.
The Hiroshima Accord will see us step up cooperation between our armed forces, grow our economies together and develop our world-leading science and technology expertise. It marks an exciting next phase in the UK and Japan’s flourishing partnership.
The fourth UK-Japan joint ‘Vigilant Isles’ military exercises, taking place in Japan later this year, will be the biggest yet with around 170 UK personnel taking part, including from the 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and 16 Air Assault Brigade.
The UK will confirm today that its Carrier Strike Group will return to the Indo-Pacific in 2025, following its maiden voyage to the region in 2021. The fleet, comprised of an aircraft carrier, her escorts and her aircraft, will work alongside the Japanese Self Defence Forces and other regional partners to help defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
As part of the defence agreements under the Hiroshima Accord, the Prime Minister is expected to agree a new Cyber Partnership with Japan. This will deepen UK-Japan cooperation on cyber and set a high level of ambition for the future relationship, with Fujitsu UK joining the National Cyber Security Centre’s Industry 100, and the UK and Japan piloting a new Japan Cyber Security Fellowship to develop future cyber leaders.
We will also unveil a new Renewable Energy Partnership, aimed at accelerating the deployment of clean energy in the UK, Japan and third countries.