Japan and Britain on Wednesday agreed to maintain their close partnership in economic security amid concerns over their deteriorating relations with China.

In a bilateral ministerial dialogue meeting for trade and investment promotion in London, Japan and Britain also adopted a joint statement aimed at strengthening supply chains for critical mineral resources, including those used in semiconductor production, and enhancing energy affordability for a sustainable future.

After the meeting, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry, told a news conference that he took up the issue of Japan's release of tritium-containing treated water from the meltdown-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Britain expressed its full support for the release of the water from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings plant into the Pacific Ocean, which is based on scientific grounds, Nishimura said.

The ministerial meeting was held in line with the two countries' Hiroshima Accord, a joint document on economic, security and technological cooperation concluded on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May.

From Britain, Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch attended Wednesday's meeting. The two sides also agreed to hold more meetings under the ministerial dialogue framework.

In the joint statement adopted Wednesday, Japan and Britain "highlighted the continued importance of working with international partners, and through key international fora, to reduce supply-chain dependencies and to deter and counter economic coercion," apparently bearing China in mind.

Nishimura also had a meeting with Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho.

Nishimura was present when the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Britain's National Nuclear Laboratory signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their cooperation in the development of a demonstration unit of a next-generation high-temperature gas reactor.