HC Deb 02 August 1965 vol 717 cc1044-5
18. Mr. Snow

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the latest routine conversations with the Japanese Government.

Mr. Padley

I assume my hon. Friend has in mind the periodic consultations held alternately in London and Tokyo at Ministerial level. The latest round of talks was held in London in January, as my hon. Friend will be aware, and at their conclusion a joint communiqué was issued describing their success and the valuable contribution these regular exchanges have made to the maintenance and further development of good relations between the United Kingdom and Japan. We are now arranging the next round which we hope will be held in Tokyo during the autumn and in which, as my right hon. Friend has already said, he expects to take part.

Mr. Snow

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that there is an ever-widening trade gap between ourselves and Japan and that there is an increasing view among many people that although Japan at present has no substantial armed forces, sooner or later it must take an increasing part in the defence of peace in South-East Asia?

Mr. Padley

The talks to be held in January will range very widely and no doubt those points among others will be considered.

Mr. Hector Hughes

In view of the steps which have been taken by other nations in competition with Britain, will my hon. Friend takes steps to see that British trade is promoted by these means?

Mr. Padley

No doubt the trading relations between Japan and Britain will be considered in the Ministerial exchanges, but my hon. and learned Friend is asking another question and if he wants a reply he should put down a Question to the President of the Board of Trade.