Tokyo, 26 September 2022 (TDI): Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom (UK), James Cleverly arrived in Japan today to pay respects to former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at his State Funeral.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is on a three-day visit to Japan, South Korea, and Singapore as a representative of the new administration of British Prime Minister Liz Truss. The trip will also highlight the importance of the Indo-Pacific region for the UK.

Foreign Secretary Cleverly stated, “As I start my visit to the region in Japan, my thoughts are with the Japanese people as we remember the legacy of former Prime Minister Abe, their longest-serving Prime Minister who brought our two countries closer together.”

During his visit, James Cleverly will also meet with Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Foreign Minister of Japan.

The two sides will discuss Britain’s proposal for membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which also includes Japan and other Pacific-rim countries, and to jointly create a new fighter plane.

Also Read: Finland’s Foreign Minister visits Japan to attend Abe Shinzo’s funeral

Japan and UK relations

Bilateral relations between the UK and Japan started in 1858 with the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce.

Both countries have established strong economic and political ties since the end of World War II that are increasingly characterized by respect for and even an understanding of one another’s cultures and interests.

As long-standing friends, the two countries have pursued a wide-ranging alliance. A bilateral economic partnership worth billions of dollars serves as an example of this.

The first significant trade deal after Brexit was formally signed in 2020 between Britain and Japan. According to the agreement, almost all of its exports to Japan would be duty-free, while British duties on Japanese automobiles will be eliminated by 2026.

In light of its exit from the European Union in 2020, Britain has declared an “Indo-Pacific tilt” in its foreign policy and views Japan as a crucial ally in East Asia.