- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

TOKYO (AP) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Friday his country stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Japan in efforts to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

“We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions, and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table,” he said after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.

Johnson called North Korea’s recent launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile, Hwasong-14, in early July, “a reckless provocation.”

Beyond shared security threats, the two officials confirmed the strong economic relationship between Japan and the UK post-Brexit.

“We’re leaving the EU but not leaving Europe,” Johnson said, and that will allow Britain to continue to build its commercial and economic relationship with Japan. He noted the strength of both U.K. exports to Japan as well as Japanese investment in the UK.

Johnson is also meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the governor of Tokyo on day two of a three-day trip to Japan.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry says they are discussing increased diplomatic and security cooperation and the Olympics.

In the remainder of his trip, he is set to meet with Japanese business leaders for talks on enhanced trade and investment before traveling to New Zealand and Australia.

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