UK Japan 21st Century Group

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The UK-Japan 21st Century Group was established in 1984 as the UK-Japan 2000 Group at the joint recommendation of the British and Japanese Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher and Yasuhiro Nakasone. It is the most senior bilateral body acting in the sphere of UK-Japan relations and maintains close ties with both governments and with related organisations.

William Hague with members of the Group in 2013

 William Hague with members of the Group, May 2013
Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The primary purpose of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group is to promote dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. Members include parliamentarians, business leaders and representatives from the media, think tanks and academia. At the Group’s annual conference, held alternate years in the UK and Japan, delegates discuss any issue that might affect our bilateral ties and make suggestions on how to enhance them. The Chairmen’s summary and recommendations from the conference are then sent to both Prime Ministers and to government departments for consideration and action.

The Co-Chairmen of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group are The Rt Hon Lord Lansley CBE PC and Mr Yasuhisa Shiozaki, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives. Together, they lead discussions on political, economic and social developments in both countries, on opportunities for industrial cooperation, and on issues relating to trade and investment, global security, health, international development and education.

The 32nd annual conference of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group took place in London and Ditchley Park from 3 – 6 September 2015. Among other topics, conference sessions addressed the future of Europe and the Eurozone, climate change and energy policy issues, defence and security challenges, approaches to social security issues and opportunities for UK-Japan collaboration in science and technology innovation.

The next conference of the Group will be held in Japan in 2016.

Full details of previous conferences can be found here.

  Joint Lunch with the Japan Society and the JCCI, September 2015

As well as the annual conference, the Group organises networking receptions, breakfast meetings and other Japan-related events in the UK during the course of each year. Corporate sponsors are also invited to annual lunches, hosted by the Japanese Ambassador in London and the British Ambassador in Tokyo.

The UK-Japan 21st Century Group greatly benefits from the support of its corporate sponsors, Amec Foster Wheeler, BAE Systems, Barclays, Crown Agents, GlaxoSmithKline, Rio Tinto and Rolls Royce, and from an annual contribution by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

UK-Japan 21 Sponsors Lunch at the British Embassy in Tokyo, November 2015

UK-Japan 21 Sponsors Lunch at the British Embassy in Tokyo, November 2014

Members of the Board of Directors

Lord Lansley of Orford CBE (Chairman)
Rt Hon Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale PC (Treasurer)
Professor Marie Conte-Helm OBE (Executive Director)
Dr Lisa Cameron MP
Rt Hon Baroness Garden of Frognal PC
Margot James MP
Dr John Nilsson-Wright
David Richardson
Thomas Swaren
Haruhiko Tsuyukubo
Debra Valentine
Sir David Warren KCMG
Sir David Wright GCMG LVO

A wider informal group of members, representing a range of UK-Japan interests and experience, are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting and to participate in other events arranged by the Group.

For further information about the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, including membership and sponsorship enquiries, contact Professor Marie Conte-Helm, Executive Director (

The UK-Japan 21st Century Group is a company limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 2042768) and is registered with the Charity Commission (registration number 295006). The Group’s UK secretariat is based at the Japan Society in London. JCIE (Japan Center for International Exchange) serves as the secretariat in Japan.


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