Britain's May visits Japan with eye on Brexit fears

Michele Moreno
September 1, 2017

May, on her first visit to Japan as prime minister, boarded a Japanese warship and attended a meeting of Japan's National Security Council to underscore her country's deepening security ties with Japan.

As well as trade, the visit includes a focus on defence and security, particularly since North Korea fired a missile across the north of Japan in the early hours of Tuesday morning, prompting global condemnation.

Speaking to Sky News, the Prime Minister insisted she was "in this for the long term" - indicating she will lead the Tories into the 2022 election.

The British Prime Minister has urged China do more to help put a stop to North Korea's weapons testing. "Japan and Britain will cooperate to counter this".

"I'm not a quitter", May said in an interview with ITV News during a visit to Japan.

But the former education secretary Nicky Morgan said it would be hard for May to fight another election, the Tory grandee Michael Heseltine said she had no long-term future and the former chancellor turned Evening Standard editor George Osborne used an editorial to again compare the prime minister to a zombie.

May is scheduled to sit down with Toyota's chairman during her three-day tour which starts in Osaka before moving to Tokyo where she will meet with Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited Britain this year.

US President Donald Trump also said "all options" are on the table regarding North Korea, ratcheting up his war of words against the Asian nation.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on North Korea, May's office said.

May, who told reporters on her flight to Japan that China was "the key" in exerting pressure on North Korea to curb its missile programme, told the BBC she was "pleased that there was a united condemnation" of North Korea from the United Nations security council late on Tuesday.

Apart from security, May's trip has focused on trade and investment.

Pressed to rule out stepping down before the next election, due in 2022, she replied: "I'm not a quitter".

However, a Chinese minister has appeared to hit back at the British leader's comments.

"The U.K.'s departure from the European Union has to be successful", Abe said.

Ms May said: "I think what I have made clear is what the United Kingdom is looking at and what the United Kingdom doing and that is looking at pressure on North Korea, which is discussions about further sanctions and it's about the sort of change that China can bring".

Other reports by Insurance News

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