Japan-UK Defense Ministers’ Teleconference
January 14, 2021
Japan Ministry of Defense
On January 14, 2021, Minister KISHI held a teleconference with Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Ben Wallace for approximately 55 minutes.
- Minister Wallace congratulated Minister Kishi on his appointment as Minister of Defense. Minister Kishi expressed his appreciation.
- The two Ministers exchanged views on the regional issues and reaffirmed their continued close cooperation. The ministers affirmed to continue exchanging views regarding the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea in light of the current events occurred in the region and concurred in sending a clear message that they strongly oppose any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion or any activities that escalate tension, and that a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law is important. The two Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to closely coordinating toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and Minister Kishi expressed that he highly valued the UK’s continuous commitment to monitoring the illicit maritime activities in contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolutions including the “ship-to-ship” transfer by the North Korea.
- The Ministers discussed the cooperation against the risks imposed by infectious diseases that could affect security and the promotion of Japan-UK efforts between the defense authorities as below: ●sharing lessons learned in humanitarian aid and disaster response (HA/DR) operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In addition, Minister Kishi greatly welcomed and highly evaluated the announcement made by Prime Minister Johnson in November 2020 to deploy a carrier strike group including the UK carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the region including East Asia this year as the UK commitment to the region, and Minister Kishi stated his intention to closely work with the UK to realize the deployment to the region. The two Ministers affirmed they would continue to vigorously promote bilateral defense cooperation and exchanges—including the “2+2” meeting in the near future and cooperation in the defense equipment and technology field—to uphold and reinforce the Free and Open Indo-Pacific while maintaining communication between the defense authorities.
●Finding new opportunities for cooperation in third countries in order to make them more resilient to the pandemic.
●sharing information and exchanging views on reinforcing the rules-based international order, including working together to counter disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Wallace consented to the proposal and suggested to work together with the Japanese side.