In fluent Japanese, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt talks about his love for Japan in which he lived in the 1990s in a video created ahead of the Jan. 10 Japan-Britain summit meeting. (Provided by the British Foreign Ministry)

LONDON--Working as an English teacher in Japan may become a new standard of sorts to get a job in Britain's highest office, as evidenced by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

"I have a huge personal fondness for Japan and its people, having spent time living there,” said Hunt, in fluent Japanese, in a video message created ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit on Jan. 10 here.

Taro Kono, Hunt's Japanese counterpart, has valued English greatly, using it as a key communication tool for sending a message.

In the history of diplomatic relations between Japan and Britain, which has spanned more than 160 years, it is uncommon for both nations’ foreign ministers to be fluent in the other’s native tongue.

“The U.K. and Japan share the same fundamental values,” said Hunt in the video sent to The Asahi Shimbun. “We are both thriving, outward-looking, democratic, innovative nations who champion free trade and global security based on the system of international rules.”

He added, “Japan is our friend and partner, and I look forward to working to bring our two nations ever closer.”

The 52-year-old Hunt graduated from Oxford University and served as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport under the David Cameron administration. He was in charge of organizing the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

He attended a prestigious public school and played rugby while he was a student.

During an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on Jan. 8, Hunt offered a prediction for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“I hope Japan comes second (after England)," he quipped, "but I am sure it will be a great success.”

Hunt also said he is looking forward to attending the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in July 2018 by Prime Minister Theresa May, after he served as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

There has been a buzz in British media that Hunt is a strong contender for becoming the next prime minister.

The leading British politician, well-versed in Japan, is critical of Japan's recent decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial whaling for the first time in 30 years.

“We don’t agree with that decision, and we do not agree with the Japanese analysis that says that the stock of whales in the world is safe and secure. We are worried about it,” Hunt said.

At the same time, Hunt emphasized: “That’s what happens sometimes. You don’t agree with your friends, but this does not mean you cannot work together with Japan on many other issues.”

Hunt lived in Japan in the 1990s, working as an English teacher. Reflecting back on those years, he said, “I used to read The Asahi Shimbun every morning to study kanji characters.”

In the spring, Hunt is planning a private family trip to Kyoto, calling it “such a lovely city.”

The foreign secretary added that he plans to rent an Airbnb traditional style house for his family's stay.