Foreign Secretary James Cleverly makes first visit to East Asia


  • James Cleverly begins a three-day visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore this week (September 26).
  • He will highlight the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific region and the UK’s aspiration to become the preferred European partner with the largest footprint in the region.
  • The Foreign Minister will meet President Yoon Suk-yeol of the Republic of South Korea and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong of Singapore and deliver a keynote speech at the Milken Asia Summit.

Secretary of State James Cleverly is focused on strengthening bilateral ties and improving trade and security ties and will begin a three-day visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore this week (September 26).

It is one of his first international visits as Foreign Secretary – following the United Nations General Assembly in New York – and demonstrates the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific and Britain’s aspiration to become the preferred European partner with the largest presence in the region.

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Great Britain and Japan are the closest friends and partners. Cleverly’s visit comes after Prime Minister Liz Truss met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the UN General Assembly in New York, where leaders looked forward to expanding Britain-Japan relations. Both countries are working together to advance common goals in security, defense and trade through programs such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and the UK’s application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

During the visit to Japan, Cleverly will attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and meet Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. During his stay in the Republic of Korea, he will meet President Yoon Suk-yeol and visit the Joint Security Zone of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Finally, in Singapore, Cleverly will meet Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and deliver a keynote speech at the Milken Asia Summit.

Ahead of the visit, Secretary of State James Cleverly said:

As I begin my visit to the region in Japan, my thoughts are with the Japanese people as we remember the legacy of former Prime Minister Abe – their longest-serving Prime Minister – who brought our two countries closer together.

The UK has a long-term commitment to the Indo-Pacific region as we seek to establish a larger and more enduring presence than any other European country. This in turn will boost economic development, strengthen trade ties and increase security.

While in Japan, the Secretary of State will offer his condolences at the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In a meeting with Foreign Secretary Hayashi, Cleverly will reaffirm Britain’s continued commitment to its relationship with Japan, its closest security partner in Asia, and the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

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Cleverly will then travel to the Republic of Korea to highlight closer cooperation on security, trade and energy and meet President Yoon Suk-yeol. He will visit the joint security area of ​​the demilitarized zone with the United Nations command. With Secretary of State Park Jin, he will discuss cooperation between Britain and the Republic of Korea on global security and economic issues, including Ukraine, Russia and China, as part of the existing bilateral framework.

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The visit will end in Singapore with a keynote speech at the Milken Asia Summit, setting out the Secretary of State’s foreign policy vision for the Indo-Pacific region, and a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

Recognizing Singapore’s role as a key regional financial hub, he will set up the new British Investment International Office to boost investment in green infrastructure and build a major economic hub. The foreign minister will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss regional security and trade, and later have dinner with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.



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