Ahead of the G7 summit aimed at addressing the threats posed by Russia and China, Rishi Sunak has arrived in Tokyo to announce a new defense partnership with Japan and to promote £18 billion in private business agreements.
Before the gathering of world leaders in Hiroshima on Friday, Sunak will meet with Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida to discuss increased defense cooperation in light of China’s escalating hostility towards Taiwan.
They will disclose the Hiroshima Accord, which includes a requirement to consult each other on certain military decisions and additional exercises by the Carrier Strike Group, a Royal Navy unit, in the Indo-Pacific.
It is believed that the British prime minister views Japan as strategically significant and a country that shares his interest in technology and innovation.
PM says Japanese firms have invested £18bn in UK during G7 conference.
The two will discuss the supply of semiconductors, which are used in automobiles, smartphones, medical devices, and other devices, during a time of global concern over Taiwan’s reliance on Chinese production.
On Thursday, Sunak also visited a naval base and then hosted a UK business summit in Tokyo for Japanese corporations including Toshiba, Sumitomo, and Mitsubishi, asserting they will invest £18 billion in wind farms, real estate, and other projects in the United Kingdom.
Octopus Energy, a UK utility provider expanding into Japan, and Mott MacDonald, an engineering firm advising on offshore wind projects, as well as at least three UK businesses, Oxentia, Transreport, and Winnow, will accompany him.
However, he was questioned on Thursday about the attractiveness of the United Kingdom as a business destination after a major automaker warned that Brexit was proving to be an impediment.
Speaking to broadcasters, he stated, “It’s a concern raised by automakers across Europe, not just in the United Kingdom. As a consequence, we are engaged in a dialogue with the EU regarding how we might address these concerns in relation to the auto manufacturing industry in general. Later today, I will meet the CEO of Nissan, who has invested one billion pounds in electric vehicle manufacturing in the north-east.
“Other Japanese business leaders are meeting today to announce a total investment of £18bn in the United Kingdom. A portion of this investment is a result of our membership in the trans-Pacific trade partnership, which creates more jobs at home and expands opportunities for British automakers.”
In response to criticism that his optimism about the economy was not shared by millions of Americans, he stated, “I know things are tough right now, but there are signs of improvement.” A vote of confidence from Japanese firms that create employment domestically. It’s excellent news for the United Kingdom.”
On his journey to the G7, Sunak is accompanied by his wife, Akshata Murty, for the first time since he assumed the No. 10 position.
Sunak is likely to have private meetings with the president of France, Emmanuel Macon, and the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi.
However, No. 10 does not anticipate a bilateral meeting between Sunak and US Vice President Joe Biden, whose journey to Asia for the summit has been cut short due to the uncertainty surrounding the US debt ceiling.
Washington has adopted a tougher stance against Beijing than some European nations, with Macron stating last month that Europe should not become “entangled in crises that are not ours.”
The second priority for Sunak will be to urge other world leaders to increase their support for Ukraine.