Both countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on the maintenance of the "rule of law" in Asia with regard to China’s “alarming” activities in the region, Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday.
China’s activities in the disputed waters of the South China raise concerns in Western countries and Japan. Therefore, Japan intends to work closely with the UK to eliminate challenges the international community is facing, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart.
In the upcoming meeting of foreign ministers and defense ministers of the two countries which will be held in the "two plus two" format, Kishida and UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Philip Hammond are planning to discuss ways to promote joint research in the field of missile technology and military equipment.
Despite the fact that Japan does not have any territorial claims in the South China Sea, the country is concerned about the construction of seven Chinese artificial islands in the territorial waters of the Spratly archipelago. These islands will help China strengthen its military presence in the sea, which, according to Kishida, may pose significant danger to the majority of the Japanese merchant ships.
In the economic sphere, both ministers also reaffirmed the willingness of Japan and the EU to step up negotiations towards a free trade agreement by the end of 2015.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond attend a news conference at Iikura House in Tokyo on Saturday.