Japan-UK Defense Minister’s Telephone Conversation

April 28, 2020
Japan Ministry of Defense
in Japanese

On April 28, 2020, Minister KONO had a telephone conversation with Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Ben Wallace.

  1. At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Kono expressed his congratulations over Prime Minister Johnson's recovery from COVID-19 and Secretary Wallace, in return, stated his appreciation. The two ministers exchanged views on issues such as the roles to be played by the defense authorities given the global spread of COVID-19. Minister Kono explained about the activities and infection-preventative measures Japan Self-Defense Forces have undertaken in their operation on the cruise ship Diamond Princess which was completed with no infected member, and analysis by the SDF Central Hospital by using a presentation document (see attached).
  2. Further, two ministers exchanged views on defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and the UK. Minister Kono, taking into consideration the implications of COVID-19, expressed the importance of both countries' maintaining seamless defense posture and of continued and strengthened bilateral defense cooperation to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific with the support of the UK's commitment in the region.
  3. The two ministers agreed on the following three points bearing in mind the circumstances arisen by the spread of COVID-19;
  1. sharing information, knowledge and lessons learned about the measures taken by the defense authorities towards overcoming COVID-19 at the earliest stage;
  2. necessity of sharing threat recognition based on the current circumstances and potential effects of the spread of COVID-19 on defense policy of each country; and
  3. promoting vigorously defense cooperation and exchanges, including the "2+2" meeting at the earliest possible timing, to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.