Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged his British counterpart, Theresa May, to avoid a no deal Brexit. He also threw Japan's support behind her Brexit deal with the European Union.
Abe was in London for his seventh summit with May on Thursday. He told May that Japan wants to further develop its strong partnership with Britain. The country is due to withdraw from the EU in March.
He expressed his appreciation for May's efforts to ensure legal stability for companies doing business in Britain by allowing a transition period.
May told Abe that the deal is also good for Japan. She expressed her appreciation for Abe's support.
Both leaders have agreed to build a new bilateral economic partnership as the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the EU will take effect next month.
Abe told May that Japan will support Britain's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
The two leaders agreed that their nations will work to achieve economic growth and close disparities through such means as free trade in the run-up to the G20 summit in Osaka. They pledged to make the summit a success.
They also agreed to cooperate in tackling such global challenges as plastic waste, which is causing climate change and ocean contamination.
They were in accord on the need for complete, verifiable, and irreversible abolition of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with all ranges.
Abe sought Britain's cooperation in resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.
As part of defense cooperation, they agreed to expand joint drills between the British military and Japan's Self-Defense Forces.
They reaffirmed that they will work together to stem North Korea's attempt to evade economic sanctions through offshore ship-to-ship transfer of banned products.
They agreed to hold talks by the foreign and defense ministers of both nations in Tokyo this spring.
They reaffirmed their cooperation in providing maritime security and quality infrastructure, including such telecommunications infrastructure as 5G connections.
After the talks, they held a joint news conference. Abe said Japan and Britain have established strong partnerships in the political and economic fields. He said their partnership will be sustained even after Brexit and it could grow even stronger.
May said Abe's visit was significant in terms of timing. She said relations with countries like Japan will grow more significant as their visions become more global.