New Year’s Greeting from Ambassador Hayashi


As we enter 2023, I wish to extend my greetings to all of you.

Last September the UK witnessed the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III to the throne. During Her Majesty’s 70-year reign, she upheld British traditions while also leading a more open Royal Family. She also made a great contribution to the development of strong UK-Japan relations through her exchanges with the Imperial Family of Japan. The fact that Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress came to the UK to attend the funeral of the late Queen, thereby illustrating how special the relationship is between Japan and the UK, left a favourable impression on the British people. It is my hope that the upcoming coronation of King Charles III in May will serve to further deepen the friendship between our two countries.

Turning to relations between Japan and the UK, in addition to Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to the UK last May, there have been frequent meetings between our Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers, and our bilateral ties have steadily deepened. Japan and the UK are strong and true partners on the globally important issues such as realising ‘a Free and Open Indo-Pacific’, our response to the situation in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the challenge posed by global warmings. Towards the end of last year, Japan, the UK and Italy announced a new security and defence collaboration to jointly develop the next generation of fighter jets. In addition to these developments, I would like to further promote our partnership this year by also co-operating with the British government on the G7, of which Japan is serving as president, and the United Nations Security Council, where Japan is a non-permanent member.

For the vital co-operation between the Japanese and British governments, mutual understanding between our two peoples is indispensable. Life in the UK is returning to pre-Covid levels in the social, economic and cultural spheres, and the outlook is getting steadily brighter. With the relaxing of entry measures to Japan, including the resumption of short-term visa exemptions for British nationals, the number of people travelling between Japan and the UK is steadily increasing. I greatly hope that this trend will continue this year.

As we enter the New Year, I will work hard to take the extremely cordial Japan-UK relationship to new heights, and to provide support and services for Japanese residents in the UK in a timely and appropriate manner. I look forward to your continued support in this endeavour.
Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom