Japan-Canada Summit Telephone Talk and Japan-UK Summit Telephone Talk
On February 3, 2021, Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit telephone talk with the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and, on February 16, with the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The overview of the talks is as follows.
Japan-Canada Summit Telephone Talk
At the outset, Prime Minister Suga expressed his hope to work closely with Canada, including at the G7 Summit in June, to strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law. In response, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that he hoped Japan and Canada would cooperate on important issues concerning the international community.
The two leaders then exchanged views on the response to COVID-19 and climate change, affirming that both countries would continue to work closely together in these areas. The two leaders also exchanged views on cooperation toward realizing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and on cooperation in addressing ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea. In addition, the two leaders exchanged views on the issue of detained Canadians as well as regional affairs such as China, including the East and South China Seas.
Prime Minister Suga asked for Prime Minister Trudeau’s continued support and cooperation toward the resolution of the abductions issue by North Korea, in response to which the Canadian leader expressed his support.
Japan-UK Summit Telephone Talk
At the outset, Prime Minister Johnson expressed his sympathy for the recent earthquake damage, and Prime Minister Suga conveyed his gratitude in response. Prime Minister Suga stated that the cooperation between Japan and the UK is deepening, such as the entry into force of Japan-UK EPA and holding of the Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting (“2 + 2”), and expressed his intention to cooperate even more closely to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” as well as for the G7 and COP26, both under the presidency of the UK. In response, Prime Minister Johnson stated that he would like to deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Japan and the UK, including the response to COVID-19.
The two leaders exchanged views on the G7 Summit Video Conference on February 19 and the G7 Summit to be held in June, and confirmed that the G7 will unite and lead the formation of a post-COVID-19 international order. Both leaders also shared the view to work together to lead the international community toward COP26, aiming to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2050. In addition, Prime Minister Suga welcomed the UK’s request to accede to the TPP11 Agreement.
Prime Minister Suga requested the support of the leaders of the G7, chaired by the UK, for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, while Prime Minister Johnson stated that he would fully lend his support.
The two leaders exchanged views on the regional situation and shared their grave concern over the situation in Myanmar. They also shared concerns regarding unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Sea, including China’s Coast Guard Law, and the situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and confirmed to work together in this vein.