"Japan400" seminar sheds light on dawn of Japan-UK relations in early 17th century

In 1600, William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, arrived in Japan and was subsequently employed as a diplomatic advisor by Tokugawa Ieyasu. This led to the opening of an English trading post in Hirado in 1613, which marked the beginning of full-scale Anglo-Japanese relations. The first phase of bilateral ties came to an end in 1623, when the English trading post was temporarily closed.

After exactly 400 years later, on 12 December, a seminar focusing on the early days of the Japanese-British relationship was held at the Embassy, where experts reviewed various aspects of our bilateral ties and discussed how cooperation between our two countries might develop further in the future.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Hayashi reflected on the significance of Miura Anjin's visit and the progress of Anglo-Japanese relations over the past 400 years. He expressed the view that the Anglo-Japanese partnership was well into its third phase after the first phase in the early 17th century and the second phase in the late 19th to the early 20th century. The seminar included presentations on the history of Anglo-Japanese relations by academics and researchers as well as an exchange of views among eminent speakers, including current and former government officials who have contributed to the development of bilateral relations.