Britain and Japan on Thursday said they would cooperate in countering the threat posed by North Korea, two days after it fired a missile over northern Japan, and will pledge closer ties in defence, cyber security and counter-terrorism.
Prime Minister Theresa May, eager to strengthen relations with one of her closest allies ahead of Brexit, is visiting Japan as it responds to an increasing military threat posed by North Korea.
“North Korea’s reckless action is a threat to Japan,’’ Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told his National Security Council alongside May.
“Japan and Britain will cooperate to counter this.’’
May added, “Against a backdrop of a more uncertain world, I want you all to know that Japan can count on the United Kingdom as a dependable and like-minded partner.’’
May toured Japan’s flagship Izumo helicopter carrier for a military briefing with Minister of Defence, Itsunori Onodera, before attending the national security meeting.
May and Abe will agree on a joint declaration on security cooperation, including plans for British soldiers to take part in military exercises on Japanese soil and for collaboration to address the threat of cyber and militant attacks when Japan hosts the Olympics in 2020.
North Korea is expected to feature heavily in the talks after it launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday that passed over Japanese territory, prompting international condemnation.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on North Korea, May’s office said.
May called on China to put more pressure on North Korea after she arrived in Japan on Wednesday.