TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan and the U.K. pledged a deeper security partnership and called for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan Strait issue at a meeting of ministers in Tokyo on Tuesday (Nov. 7).
The “2+2” meeting, bringing defense ministers and foreign ministers from the U.K. and Japan together, took place for the fifth time on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Dialogue focused on maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific region and confronting China’s aggression, per CNA.
Ministers from both the U.K. and Japan reiterated "strong opposition" to any unilateral action that attempts to change the status quo through force or coercion. The two sides also expressed "serious concern" about the situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
The U.K. and Japan urged China to take actions consistent with being a responsible member of the international community and avoid assisting Russia in its war against Ukraine. The two countries also expressed concern about the situation in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, but expressed a willingness to engage with China in dialogue.
A joint statement from the meeting also reaffirmed support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations where statehood is not a prerequisite for participation. It also supported Taiwan’s bid to become an "observer" when statehood is a prerequisite for participation.
Participants in the "2+2" talks were U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who held talks with their counterparts, Japanese Defense Minister Kihara Minoru and Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko.
The U.K. and Japan signed the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) in January, allowing both sides to deploy armed forces in each other's territories and jointly plan and execute larger, more complex, joint military exercises. In May, both sides signed the "Hiroshima Accord," enhancing their global strategic partnership in the fields of defense, technology, energy, and other fields.