Kishida, Truss confirm reinforcement of Japan-U.K. security cooperation

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and British Prime Minister Liz Truss shake hands in New York on Tuesday.

NEW YORK / LONDON — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met the leaders of the United Kingdom and Turkey in New York on Tuesday at the start of the autumn diplomatic season.

With his Cabinet’s approval rating in free fall, Kishida hopes to demonstrate his diplomatic prowess to regain public support ahead of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral on Sept. 27, when foreign heads of state and government are expected to visit Japan.

Immediately after arriving in New York, Kishida met U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss for the first time, spending about an hour over lunch with Britain’s new premier.

The two prime ministers shared concerns about the status quo being changed by force in the East and South China Seas, with China in mind. In light of the situations in Ukraine and Taiwan, “the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific are inseparable,” Kishida said.

According to the British government, the two prime ministers confirmed their intention to cooperate in dealing with the “strategic threat” posed by China.

Truss condemned a major military drill conducted by the Chinese military around Taiwan in early August, during which China dropped ballistic missiles into the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Regarding Ukraine, the two prime ministers agreed that it is important for the international community to unite in imposing sanctions on Moscow and continuing support for Kyiv. They strongly condemned planned referendums for the annexation of Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine, calling the move “absolutely unacceptable.”

During the meeting, Kishida and Truss also confirmed that they would accelerate talks on the joint development of a next-generation fighter jet.

At the start of the meeting, Kishida again expressed condolences over the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and Truss expressed her gratitude to the Emperor and Empress for their attendance at the state funeral.

Kishida also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for about 40 minutes, exchanging views on the situation in Ukraine and U.N. reform.