Japan, UK leaders agree to deepen security cooperation

The prime ministers of Japan and the United Kingdom have agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in security and other fields.

Kishida Fumio and Rishi Sunak met over dinner in Hiroshima on Thursday, the day before the Group of Seven summit opens in the western Japanese city.

Their agreement is known as "The Hiroshima Accord."
It covers defense, trade and investment, science and technology, and global challenges such as climate change. It commits the two countries to "an enhanced global strategic partnership."

The accord says Japan and the UK are "the closest of partners and will stand shoulder to shoulder in ... advancing the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific."

It refers to the possibility of allowing the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to provide protection for UK assets, such as ships and aircraft.

The document says the two countries will launch dialogue between their ministers for economy, trade and industry to further strengthen high-level collaboration.

The UK said it will double the number of troops it sends to participate in joint exercises with Japan. It pledges to dispatch its carrier strike group to the Indo-Pacific in 2025 to safeguard the region's peace and stability, in tandem with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force and other regional partners. The UK sent the carrier strike group to the region in 2021.

The UK said the two countries will also boost collaboration in areas such as cyber-security, offshore wind farms, and other clean energy technologies, as well as in the semiconductor industry.

The UK government said on Wednesday that the 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."

Sunak attended the working dinner at a Japanese restaurant, wearing red socks featuring the name of Kishida's favorite professional baseball team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.