The top diplomats of Japan and Britain agreed Saturday to work quickly toward a bilateral trade deal that will be "at least as ambitious" as Japan's agreement with the European Union.

In their first meeting since the United Kingdom formally withdrew from the European Union on Jan. 31, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, also said they were planning security talks.

"Preliminary discussions have begun in building a new bilateral economic partnership, and I hope we will be able to start and conclude negotiations as early as possible," Motegi said at a joint news conference after the meeting in Tokyo.