Kishida, Johnson Broadly Agree on Pact for Japan SDF, U.K. Military


London, May 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, confirmed Thursday a broad accord toward concluding a reciprocal access agreement that will serve as a legal basis during mutual visits by Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel and British troops.

At a meeting in London, Johnson informed Kishida of Britain's plan to lift by the end of June its import restrictions on food produced in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima and other areas in Japan, which were introduced after the March 2011 triple reactor meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

A bilateral RAA sets criminal and other procedures applied during a visit by troops from one of the countries involved to the other to help ensure the smooth implementation of joint military exercises and disaster relief activities.

Kishida and Johnson agreed to deepen their countries' defense cooperation and speed up work to sign the RAA at an early date. They also confirmed that Japan and Britain will agree by the end of this year on the full picture of their cooperation over the development of next-generation fighter jets.

The two leaders also discussed the situation over Ukraine, which is being invaded by Russia. They agreed that the Group of Seven major industrial nations will remain united in imposing sanctions on Russia and continuing assistance for Ukraine. The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.

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