Japanese PM Kishida looks to tighter security cooperation with Britain

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he expects a higher level of security and defense cooperation with Britain after the two countries signed a new document.

Kishida held a news conference in London on Wednesday after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The two leaders signed the Japan-UK Reciprocal Access Agreement. The pact will facilitate joint exercises and other operations between Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the British military.

Citing Britain as one of Japan's most important security partners in Europe, Kishida told reporters that he expects the two countries' signing of the important document will also promote efforts to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The British Prime Minister's Office issued a statement after Wednesday's meeting. It says with the signing of the agreement, the two leaders shared the view that "collaboration across defence and security would not only benefit Japan and the United Kingdom, but broader global stability."

The statement goes on to say that Sunak "welcomed Prime Minister Kishida's plans to focus on the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on global food and economic security."

The statement also referred to Britain's application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. It says Sunak told Kishida the agreement "offered the UK a unique opportunity to join a group of like-minded countries who shared similar values."
The statement says the two leaders agreed that there is "huge potential for growth across the two countries' economies."