UK Japan 21st Century Group

UKJ21 logo

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.

Members of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group September 2019

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, former Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. 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.

Conference Session in Canterbury

The 36th annual conference of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group took place in Canterbury on 6-8 September. Among other topics, conference sessions addressed latest developments in Japanese & UK politics and the economy, including the implications of Brexit; security and bilateral cooperation; trade and investment, energy and policy responses to the digital revolution.

Download the report and recommendations from the 2019 conference here.

Conference Session in Canterbury

The next conference of the Group will be held in Japan in Autumn 2020.

Full details of previous conferences can be found here. 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.

Conference Dinner

Conference Dinner

The UK-Japan 21st Century Group greatly benefits from the support of its corporate sponsors, Crown Agents, GlaxoSmithKline, Navitas Resources, Rio Tinto,  Sovereign Strategy and Terumo BCT Europe, and from an annual contribution by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Members of the Board of Directors

Lord Lansley of Orford CBE (Chairman)
Rt Hon Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale PC (Treasurer)
David Fitton CMG (Executive Director)
Lord Cunningham of Felling
Dr Lisa Cameron MP
Alan Donnelly
Rt Hon Baroness Garden of Frognal PC
Dr John Nilsson-Wright
David Richardson
Nigel Talboys
Sir David Warren KCMG

Conference Session in Canterbury

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 David Fitton, 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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