Speech at lunch for Japanese Prime Minister (Zenko Suzuki)
|Venue:||No.10 Downing Street|
|Source:||Thatcher Archive (THCR 5/1/5/101): speaking text|
|Editorial comments:||1315 onwards.|
|Themes:||Foreign policy (Asia), Trade, Foreign policy (general discussions)|
I extend a sincere welcome to Britain to you, [ Zenko Suzuki ] Mr. Prime Minister, and to your colleagues.
As industrialized democracies, Japan and Britain have many vital interests in common. Your visit underlines the depth and range of relations between Japan and the United Kingdom and other countries of the European Community. You have stressed to me, Mr. Prime Minister, the priority which you have given to developing those relations. The British Government fully shares that view.
The relationship between Britain and Japan began to take shape some 120 years ago when Japan opened her doors to the outside world. It might be compared to a fine old house, well built and of great character. Its foundations have proved strong enough to survive an earthquake or two; but it needs careful maintenance and occasional repairs.[fo 1] Now might be the time to give it a coat of paint and to extend the building.
I hope that our discussions today and the personal understanding between us, Mr. Prime Minister, have provided a starting point for this.
We have talked frankly about our trade relationship. The senior representatives of British industry here today know very well how hard our exporters are trying to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the difficulties of the Japanese market. They also know the implications of the level of certain imports into this country from Japan.
It is essential to get this aspect of our relationship right. We must also reinforce the foundations by extending the relationship to include more investment in both directions and other forms of industrial co-operation.[fo 2]
On major international issues we found today that our two governments think along almost identical lines. We may be at different ends of the globe, but we are both conscious of the Soviet threat. We must respond to it together. We both hope for stability in the Middle East and South East Asia. We must strengthen our political links still further.
In October the Great Japan Exhibition will open at the Royal Academy in London. It will be a magnificent exhibition which I am sure will create better understanding of Japan on the part of the British public. I am happy to be able to announce that both you, Prime Minister, and I will be members of the Committee of Honour.
With your visit, the Great Japan Exhibition and several other important visits to and from Japan, 1981 will be a vintage year for Anglo-Japanese relations. I am confident that subsequent years will be even better.