Fukuoka Prefecture, “F CUBE INNOVATION 2024”

We are pleased to announce that a business matching event “F CUBE INNOVATION 2024” will be held on Tuesday, October 8th, 2024 organised by Fukuoka Prefecture Government.

This call is open to domestic & foreign Fintech companies that have not yet established operations in Fukuoka, and are intending to expand into Fukuoka.

The application period is from Friday, July 5 to Wednesday, July 31, 2024.

If you are interested in this event, please check the outline of the event below, and apply using the application form on the event website.

Event Outline

Date and time:Tuesday, October 8th, 2024, from 12:30pm to 5:30pm in JST

Venue (onsite):Fukuoka Growth Next, Event Space

2-6-11, Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-city, Fukuoka, Japan

For inquiries, contact

Secretariat for Business Matching & Pitch Event “F CUBE INNOVATION 2024”

(In the Fukuoka office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC)

Person in charge: Aikawa, Enokida

e-mail address: f3-innovation@tohmatsu.co.jp

Event website: https://www.pref.fukuoka.lg.jp/contents/fcubeinnovation-2024.html

*The event will be conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s Fukuoka Office under the contract with Fukuoka Prefectural Government.

3rd UK Digital Health Innovation Webinar

18 June 2024

3rd UK Digital Health Innovation Webinar

Department for Business and Trade, British Embassy Tokyo and British Consulate-General Osaka ran the third Digital Health Innovation Webinar to present five UK digital health companies, together with keynote speakers from AstraZeneca i2.JP and the Health Innovation Network (East).

  1. AstraZeneca i2.JP https://www.i2jp.net/
  2. The Health Innovation Network  https://thehealthinnovationnetwork.co.uk/
  3. AI SENTIA     https://aisentia.com/aisentia-technology/
  4. CHARCO NEUROTECH https://charconeurotech.com/
  5. DYNAMIC METRICS LIMITED (GAITSMART) https://www.gaitsmart.com/
  6. GREEN CROSS MEDICO LTD (Airglove)  https://www.greencrossmedico.com/products/airglove/

i2.JP (Innovation Infusion Japan) | Astrazeneca

i2.JPはアストラゼネカが世界で展開する20以上のヘルスケアイノベーション拠点(A. Catalyst Network)の一員です。世界中に展開するヘルスケアイノベーション拠点との連携を活かし、日本のスタートアップの海外進出および海外スタートアップの日本進出をサポートいたします。ヘルスケア課題の解決、ヘルスケア イノベーションの創出に一緒に取り組んでいきたい仲間を常時求めています!


8th UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum

This autumn the British Embassy Tokyo will organize, in collaboration with the British Market Council, the 8th edition of the UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum.

This year the forum, to be held at the British Embassy Tokyo, will be organised across 2 half days, in order to invite a larger panel of different Japanese Stakeholders.

The dates are confirmed as below – however the programme is to be confirmed (TBC) – the tentative programme is as follows:

  • Tuesday the 29th of October, afternoon:
    • Nuclear Policy
    • New Build
    • Fuel Cycle
    • Networking reception on the evening
  • Wednesday the 30th of October, morning:
    • Decommissioning
    • Waste Management

The number of participants are limited to a maximum of 2 persons per company, to a maximum of 20 UK companies. So if you are interested to participate to the first, the second or both of the days of this event, we encourage you to fill in the form available at the above link before Sunday the 1st of September 2024, 15:59

Asset Management Seminar 2024

2024年5月31日、マイケル・マイネリ シティ・オブ・ロンドン第685代ロード・メイヤー訪日に際し、英国大使館にて英国資産運用セミナー2024 – 英国年金制度の変遷と資産運用業の発展 – が開催されました。当日のセミナーの様子をご紹介いたします。

プログラム、登壇者紹介  Programme+Bios

Introduction from Ambassador Julia Longbottom CMG (Japanese)
ジュリア・ロングボトム 駐日英国大使 挨拶
Introduction from Lord Mayor of London
マイケル・マイネリ シティ・オブ・ロンドン 第 695 代 ロード・メイヤー 開会挨拶
Keynote Speech: Jack Knight
基調講演 – 英国年金制度の変遷と資産運用業の発展
ジャック・ナイト 英国投資協会 副最高経営責任者
Keynote Speech: Takada Hideki
基調講演 – 資産運用立国の実現に向けて
高田 英樹 金融庁 総合政策局総合政策課長
Panel Discussion: パネルディスカッション – 持続可能な年金制度と資産運用業の果たす役割

モデレーター:堀江 貞之 堀江リサーチ&アドバイザリー 代表取締役

  • トム・プライス マネージングパートナー
  • 藤田 学 インベストメンツジャパン 代表取締役
  • 時国 司 オービス・インベストメンツ日本法人 代表取締役社長

モデレーター:木村 武 日本生命保険 執行役員, 国連責任投資原則)理事

  •  宮部 長久 リーガル・アンド・ジェネラル・インベストメント・マネジメント・ジャパン 代表取締役社長
  • マイケル・ボント・フリードハイム NextEnergy Group ファンディングパートナー&グループCEO
  • ステファニー・ドゥルーズ 日興アセットマネジメント 代表取締役社長

Mission to Expo – ‘Come Build the Future’

Mission to Expo – Episode 1

The British Embassy in Japan has accepted the mission! The 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo is now just under one year away. DBT is leading a team in Osaka and the UK, with the current Consul General in Osaka, Carolyn Davidson, taking the helm as Commissioner General of the UK Pavilion.

The main construction and pavilion design tenders are now assigned. ES Global leading a team including Woo architects, won the contract to design, build and decommission the UK’s pavilion, with Immersion UK leading on the experience concept for the pavilion. Export to Japan was pleased to attend the Pavilion launch event back in March. We continue to provide updates on tenders for delivering things like elements of design and services for the event on our dedicated Osaka Expo 2025 page.

Lessons learned from 15 years of entrepreneurship in Japan – MIPRO Startup Seminar

Considering starting your own business in Japan?

Manufactured Imports and Investment Promotion Organization (MIPRO) are thrilled to welcome Paul McMahon, founder of three businesses in Japan over the last 15 years. Currently founder and CEO of TokyoDev, which began as a personal blog and has since evolved into a thriving platform that empowers international software developers in their Japanese career journeys.

In this seminar, he will share his entrepreneurial journey, and provide insights he’s picked up about running a business in Japan.

*This seminar is co-sponsored by ITIC (The Foundation for International Trade and Industrial Co-operation).

UK Pavilion Launch Event, Osaka Kansai Expo 2025.

On Friday 8th March, Export to Japan was lucky enough to attend the launch event for the UK Pavilion for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. The event was held at the Hilton Hotel in Osaka, providing a fantastic view of the city at night.

A press briefing and signing ceremony was followed by the main launch event. Guests watched a video message from Lord Offord, rooting the presentation in the strong UK-Japan relationship, and heard from British Ambassador, Julia Longbottom and Osaka Consulate General in Osaka, Carolyn Davidson. Carolyn will be taking on the role of Commissioner General for the UK Pavilion. Olly Watts from ES Global and John Munro of Immersive unveiled the striking modular design that will offer a sustainability led flexible space to house the UK experience. Osaka Mayor, Hideyuki Yokoyama, and Secretary General of the Expo Association, Hiroyuki Ishige, both spoke enthusiastically about the coming project and welcoming the UKs participation.

Supporting Expo 2025’s theme of Designing Future Society for Our Lives, the UK Pavilion will encourage visitors of all ages to #ComeBuildTheFuture by telling our shared stories through a blend of innovative technology, modern design and bright new ideas.

Lord Offord, Minister for Expo, Department for Business and Trade said:

Our presence at Osaka signifies the UK’s commitment to deepening our relationship with Japan, building on our strong trade and investment relationship through CPTPP, CEPA, and our digital partnership.

Expos are an opportunity for the world to come together and collaborate, innovate and educate on some of the biggest issues we face, and I look forward to welcoming visitors to the UK Pavilion when doors open in April 2025.

British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom said:

World Expos are a symbol of unity and cooperation in the face of global challenges.

The UK pavilion at the Osaka Kansai Expo next year will be an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the UK, to get a taste of its creativity and innovation, and to learn more about how we are working with Japan and the wider international community to help build a sustainable future. The UK’s wide-ranging partnership with Japan provides a solid foundation on which we want people to ‘Come Build the Future’ with us.”

Delegates pose alongside Myaku Myaku character in front of an image of the UK Pavilion design.
From L-R: Myaku Myaku, Hiroyuki Ishige (Secretary General of the Expo Association), Carolyn Davidson (UK Pavilion Commissioner General), Hideyuki Yokoyama (Mayor of Osaka), Julia Longbottom (British Ambassador), Koji Haneda (Commissioner General of the Exhibition in Japan), Olly watts (ES Global), John Munro (Immersive).

The UK’s presence at Expo 2025, Osaka, Kansai will offer opportunities for UK businesses to showcase their products and services on a global stage. It is expected that around 28 million visitors will attend Expo, alongside 160 participating nations.

The UK’s participation at the Expo is an opportunity to build on the increasingly strong relationship between the UK and Japan, following the agreement of the Hiroshima Accord last year. The UK and Japan share a high level of ambition for our partnership, demonstrated by the success of our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), agreement to the UK’s accession to CPTPP[1]; as well as our shared focus on science, innovation and technology, including our UK-Japan partnerships on Cyber, Digital and Semiconductors.   

The design and build of the UK Pavilion will be supported by an impressive cast list of UK companies, spearheaded by ES Global and Immersive International together with leading design partners WOO architectsMax Fordham LLPMomentum Structural EngineersSpeirs Major Light Architecture and Fira Landscape Ltd.

Alongside the creative and build team, Turner and Townsend, is working with the UK to manage design integration, project management and the construction process of the UK Pavilion.

More information

Please visit the Business Opportunities at Osaka Expo 2025 page for more information.

[1] Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership  

4th Reverse Pitch Webinar: Collaboration Opportunities with Japanese Pharmaceutical Companies

Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Japan hosted the 4th webinar inviting speakers from pre-clinical stage R&D / Business Development from the leading 6 Japanese pharmaceutical companies: Astellas Pharma Inc, Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, Eisai Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Shionogi & Co Ltd and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.  

This webinar, provides an opportunity to learn the latest research priorities and collaboration structures of the leading Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

DBT Japan Team will also assist 1:1 call requests from UK companies. If this is of interest, please contact DBT Japan at LS.Japan.trade@fco.gov.uk, indicating which companies you wish to have a meeting with.  When contacting, please include 1) USP and any track record,  2) How your technology fits their research priorities, and 3) non-confidential slide deck to explain your proposal for potential collaboration. The presenters will discuss internally and get back to you only when they show initial interest in having a follow up meeting.


09:00               Opening Remarks / Housekeeping

09:05-09:20     Astellas Pharma Inc

09:20-09:35     Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

09:35-09:50     Eisai Co Ltd

09:50-10:05     Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

10:05-10:20     Shionogi & Co Ltd

10:20-10:35     Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

10:35               Closing

*Q&A Moderator: Dr Ivana Poparic, Head of Life Sciences Cluster Development, MedCity / London & Partners

<Key interest areas from the companies>

Astellas Pharma Inc

Astellas is interested in emerging areas of drug discovery & development including new biological insights, platforms, and modalities across multiple therapeutic areas.

  • Cell therapy programs using pluripotent stem cells and related technologies
  • AAV gene therapy projects and technologies
  • Novel immuno-oncology programs
  • Targeted protein degradation programs and technologies
  • New programs and technologies for immune regulation


Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

Daiichi Sankyo is seeking early-stage technology platform-based opportunities for research collaboration with academia or startups.


  • Cancer-specific neoantigens and their discovery technologies
  • Technologies for identification of molecular glue degraders
  • Antibodies or antibody-like binding molecules (e.g. Fab, scFv) against tumor tissue (e.g. tumor cells, immune cells, stromal cells)-specific targets


  • Novel therapeutic targets/pathways leading to drug discovery for psychiatric disorders
  • In vitro models of neuronal dysfunction for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets

Eisai Co Ltd


  • Modulation of the neuro-glia-vascular unit in the brain
  • Nerve regeneration without transplantation
  • Brain- or cell-specific delivery systems
  • Novel fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease


  • New targets and concepts for the treatment of refractory cancers
  • Therapeutic targets and concepts for early intervention
  • Novel methodologies to make the undruggable targets druggable
  • Clinically relevant novel cancer models

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is exploring for research collaboration and partnership opportunities for drug discovery technologies below, in addition to drug candidates and drug targets in our focused therapeutic areas of neurological/autoimmune diseases and refractory cancers.

Drug Discovery Technologies

  • Assay Systems required for screening and POC studies, Clinical Samples and Biomarkers for our targeting diseases
  • DDS for oligonucleotide therapeutics and RNA-targeted small molecules for Neurological Diseases
  • Bispecific Antibody and Cell Engagers acquisition technology for Autoimmune Diseases
  • Targeted protein degradations (TPD) or antibody drug conjugates (ADC) for refractory cancers

Shionogi & Co Ltd

  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in infectious diseases (esp. HIV, HBV, RSV, AMR, NTM*, Pandemic preparedness) and respiratory diseases
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in dementia (symptomatic relief) and cognitive impairment
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in sleep disorders (sleep apnoea), sensory loss (hearing loss) and mobility disorders (aging related)
  • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in vaccine discovery
  • Phase 2 and 3 clinical assets in infectious diseases and CNS areas

(NTM*: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria)

Shionogi Wish List

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd

Takeda is seeking partners with innovative therapeutic candidates and technologies in the fields of Neuroscience, Oncology, and Gastrointestinal & Inflammation.

  • Neuroscience: Neurodegenerative diseases, neuromuscular diseases, Huntington’s disease and epilepsy
  • Oncology: Solid tumors, with preference toward lung and GI cancers
  • Gastrointestinal & Inflammation: Inflammatory diseases, fibrostenotic Crohn’s disease and advanced liver fibrosis (F3/F4 MASH)
  • Across all therapeutic areas: Novel target identification, single-cell profiling technologies, and translational patient datasets

    International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition

    Announcing exhibitor applications for “H.C.R.2024 & Forum” and “H.C.R.Web2024”

    Japan National Council of Social Welfare and Health and Welfare Information Association will host
    H.C.R. 2024 both in-person and web-based, at Tokyo Big Sight and via the H.C.R Website.

    The Association will also be holding forums on various themes during the exhibition of a wide variety of welfare equipment. The event will also include a “Start Up Booth” for overseas companies and organisations exhibiting at H.C.R. for the first time to further promote the entry of foreign companies into the Japanese market.

    Contact: H.C.R. Organizer’s Office (c/o Health & Welfare Information Association)
    E-mail: overseas@hcrjapan.org URL: https://en.hcr.or.jp/

    Exhibition Outline

    In-Person Exhibition

    • H.C.R.2024, 51st International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition
    • Oct 2 (Wed) – Oct 4 (Fri), 2024
    • 10:00 to 17:00(Ends at 16:00 on the last day)
    • Tokyo International Exhibition Center “Tokyo Big Sight” East Exhibition Halls, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063

    Web-Based Exhibition

    • H.C.R.Web2024
    • Sep 2 (Mon) – Nov 1 (Fri), 2024
    • Special website in H.C.R.Website

    Exhibitor Application Dates

    • In-Person By 17:00 on Mar 29 (Fri), 2024 (Japan time)
    • Web-Based By 17:00 on May 31(Fri), 2024 (Japan time)

    H.C.R.2023 reporting video (with English subtitles) is now available:

    Osaka Expo 2025 – Tenders update

    With the preparations ramping up for the Osaka Kansai Expo 2025 contracts for the myriad of services are starting to come thick and fast. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is hard at work highlighting the opportunities.

    There are a number of tenders currently open with submission deadlines in the coming month. Please read more at our dedicated Expo 2025 page.

    Working closely with the dedicated DBT team Export to Japan is hosting a combined spreadsheet of tender notifications. In addition to the needs of the UK’s pavilion, it includes notifications from the Expo Association itself (though primarily in Japanese) as well as those coming from the rest of the international participation in the Expo (listed under ‘EU’ and ‘Others’).

    The spreadsheet can be found here: Expo 2025 Tender Notices.

    Osaka Expo 2025 mascot 'Myaku Myaku'

    Construction, Interior Design, Architecture in Japan – with Mark Dytham

    In this episode we talk with Mark Dytham. The Klein Dytham architectural practice is behind award winning projects. He has over 30 years of experience from first encounters with Japanese architecture heroes, through establishing a practice in Japan and the myriad relationships built across the creative and construction industries and the wider business community in Japan.

    Review of 2023: Defence and Security 

    The year saw some significant highlights for the Defence and Security sector in Japan. 

    The Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, was in Tokyo in December to mark the official signing of the international Treaty which marks an important agreement in the shared design and delivery of a next generation fighter aircraft by 2035. The landmark Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) is a treaty between the UK, Japan and Italy. It was announced that the headquarters of the programme will be based in Britain led by BAE systems, in close partnership with Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK and MDBA UK. The programme opens a myriad of opportunities for UK companies in the supply chain. 

    In May, PM Sunak noted in his speech at a business reception in Tokyo, that Somerset-based helicopter manufacturer Leonardo UK, in partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, has been contracted to provide further world-class naval helicopters and Mid Life Upgrade kits for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, in a deal worth around over £150 million in exports. 

    Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in Tokyo & London 

    In March we saw the largest trade show for the defence and security sector in North-East Asia. With an increased focus on Japan and the Indo-Pacific region DSEI Japan is a significant showcase for UK companies. In advance of DSEI Japan 2023 we spoke with Gary Waterfall, in his role as Senior Military Advisor to Clarion. The event attracted over 12,000 visitors over the three days, which included the vast display floors and conference sessions. 

    Happening every two years, the DSEI trade shows succeed in bringing an international cast of defence and security companies across the whole supply chain. The Defence Secretary and Trade Envoy to Japan were able to visit and talk to British companies demonstrating their cutting-edge capabilities direct to the market. The event offers the chance to engage with international partners, customers and senior military officials in Japan and the region. 

    Later in the year DBT Japan accompanied businesses to DSEI London – 2023 marking the biggest event in its 24-year history, including an increase of senior military and government attendees, with over 3250 VIPs and delegations from close to 100 nations. 

    CPTPP General review – Public Engagement

    The UK Department for Business and Trade launched a public engagement in preparation for the upcoming General Review of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). They are seeking views from businesses, individuals, and other interested stakeholders on how the deal could be enhanced through this process. 

    CPTPP is already a high standards agreement, and that is the basis on which the UK applied to join. Any changes made as a result of the review will therefore be targeted and focused, requiring consensus from all members. But your help is needed to decide how the UK should input into that conversation with other CPTPP Members.

    This period of public engagement will be open until 22 February.

    Please have your say here.

    As well as informing the UK’s approach to the General Review, your input into the public engagement consultation will also help understanding of how you can be best supported on any wider challenges you may be facing in doing business in Asia Pacific.

    General Review Briefing Webinar

    HM Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Martin Kent will host a briefing to explain what the General Review will entail, why it is relevant to businesses, and how businesses can provide the most impactful feedback. The webinar on 26 January (1200 Japan time) will also set out how DBT APAC is working to support businesses on policy and regulatory areas that do not fall directly under the scope of the CPTPP General Review, as part of the broader priority of ensuring that businesses can make the most of the trading opportunities in Asia Pacific.

    You can register here for the webinar.

    Application open for the BIZDEV JAPAN ACCELERATOR!

    The “BIZDEV JAPAN ACCELERATOR” is run by Innovation Dojo Japan – specialising in Japan targeted Business Development, Startup Development (including market entry) and Talent Development via partnerships with Japanese universities.

    The programmes first cohort recruitment is focusing on startups in



    FOOD and DRINK,

    Deadline for application is 31 January 2024.

    Read more at Innovation Dojo for details on entry criteria and programme outline!

    Review of 2023: Manchester Mission cementing ties between Japan and the Northern Powerhouse.  

    Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, Head of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig and the DBT Northern Powerhouse team (headed by Margaret Bourke and Lynn Shaw) led a large delegation covering business, net zero and innovation, culture and sport, and people to people links from Greater Manchester and the wider Northern Powerhouse.  They were also joined by the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy who was invited by the Mayor.  On the business side, the delegation included 11 companies operating in sectors including technology, life sciences, renewable energy and professional services.   

    They spent three days visiting the city of Osaka, where the Mayor singed an MoU to cement strong links between ‘the Manchester of the East and the Osaka of the West’, before travelling to Tokyo for a final two days.  Businesses had a range of meetings with Japanese companies and stakeholders across the visit, and highlights included receptions in Osaka and at the British Embassy Tokyo, that latter with a toast by Minster Sakai from Japan’s Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry. 

    Take a browse of Marketing Manchester’s daily round-ups for more information: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

    Review of 2023: PM’s Trade Envoy to Japan Flies the Flag for British Exports 

    Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Japan, Greg Clark MP, made two visits to Japan during 2023. His engagement serves to bolster the UK –Japan trade relationship.  

    Back in March during his first visit in the role, he engaged with major Japanese companies, British firms, and important political stakeholders in Japan.  

    Mr Clark had the opportunity to see first-hand the value UK businesses get from bringing their products and services to trade shows – he attended WindExpo to meet companies showcasing world leading tech to deal with the transition to renewables and the global energy security challenge. It was a demonstration of how the Japanese renewables sector can benefit from British expertise in the field. In the same week he visited DSEI Japan, the defence & security trade show, learning how UK companies can support a growing relationship between the two nations on defence and security in the region. See our short report at the time [link

    The Trade Envoy’s continued engagement with business and government is an opportunity to reinforce investment in shared innovation and collaboration for the mutual benefit of UK and Japanese trade relations.  

    At the end of October Mr Clark returned to further engage with Japanese business partners and key Japanese government representatives. He built on his previous visit, attending anniversary events for UK and Japanese businesses that underscore the UK-Japan relationship, and speaking to key Japanese government stakeholders. He chaired a business roundtable to discuss market shaping, joined a discussion on financial regulations and led a panel discussion on supply chain resilience. 

    The end of his visit programme coincided with the mission led by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and the Trade Envoy was invited to join, providing strong support for British business, and collaboration with Japan.  The visit provided a welcome promotion of opportunities for both countries to work together on shared objectives with an approach that transcends political differences for the greater economic good.  

    Greg Clark MP also provided a supportive message for Export to Japan in recognition of 2023 being our 10 year anniversary.

    Review of 2023: Food and Drink Sector 

    Continuing our brief look back at 2023, the food and drink market in Japan continues to present opportunities. We’ve highlighted a few of the events that have showcased British food and drink during the year.

    Full flavour of the four nations at FOODEX 2023 

    Ever the calendar highlight of the Food & Drink sector in Japan, FOODEX 2023 was hosted at Tokyo Big Sight in March. FOODEX provides a perfect opportunity for brands to engage with key Japanese food and drink industry stakeholders. The UK set up a pavilion in the exhibition space to showcase delicacies from all four nations. 73,789 people passed through the show over four days of activity, with stalls and events providing key networking opportunities with importers and distributors and great opportunities to get British produce on the shelves in Japan. 

    British SEAFOOD is a Catch in Japan 

    August brought with it a focus on the seafood market in Japan with The Japan International Seafood & Technology EXPO held at Tokyo Big Sight. Eight UK companies and two UK seafood industry associations exhibited on the UK pavilion, co-hosted with Seafish and in partnership with Seafood from Scotland. The pavilion was visited by buyers seeking the finest seafood from around the UK, including salmon, mackerel, lobster, tuna and whelk. See the directory of businesses attending the event

    British CHEESE eyes a bigger slice of Japanese market 

    Shifting focus to the UKs long history of quality dairy production, at the beginning of November DBT Japan delivered the webinar ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Japanese Cheese Market’ during International Trade Week. Mr Hiroyuki Arita, Managing Director/Secretary General of The Japan Imported Cheese Promotion Association delivered a comprehensive overview of the latest trends and opportunities for cheese in Japan. The session identified opportunity to capitalise on a new generation of Japanese consumers with increasingly international tastes.  

    Anuga, which took place in Cologne in October, is one of the largest food and drink industry trade shows in the world. The UK dairy pavilion welcomed Japanese importers and buyers to a guided UK cheese tasting experience. Participants enjoyed unique specialities such as Wensleydale, Stilton and Cheddar paired with English Sparkling Wine, while learning about the characteristics of each cheese and networking with the exhibiting producers.

    DBT Japan also delivered a UK Cheese seminar and tasting event on the 30 November at the Ambassador’s residence in the British Embassy Tokyo.  Six UK cheese suppliers participated the event, showcasing samples and offering a variety of UK cheeses to over 80 local attendees including buyers, importers/distributors, chefs, restaurants/bars/hotels and media.  The audience was also treated to two presentations from speakers dialling in live from the UK, where they learned about the USPs of UK cheese – heritage, authenticity/quality and creativity.  The event attendees also welcomed explanation of benefits arising from the UK-Japan trade agreement, CEPA, particularly on tariff reduction on cheese.  

    Japanese importers and buyers were treated to tasting and networking at Anuga 2023, Cologne.

    Review of 2023: The G7 year and PM Sunak’s Business Reception in Tokyo  

    Back in March, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak passed through Tokyo on his way to the G7 Summit in Hiroshima. The reception held at the landmark Mori Tower in Roppongi was a significant event gathering a key group of Japanese and British business leaders and presenting the opportunity to announce a record £18bn investment into the UK economy, plus significant examples of UK companies contributing to and collaborating with the Japanese market.  Octopus, Mott MacDonald and Leonardo were highlighted as examples of significant UK companies doing business in Japan, with Transreport, Winnow and Oxentia namechecked as new successes in exporting their products and services into the Japanese market. At the G7 Summit PM Sunak and PM Kishida announced the Hiroshima Accord, an underscoring of the strength of the UK-Japan bilateral relationship. 

    PM Rishi Sunak stands at a podium that says 'GRWO THE ECONOMY' on it above an image of UK and Japanese flags.
    PM Sunak addresses a business reception in Tokyo ahead of G7 summit in Hiroshima.

    In addition to the headline Summit, important ministerial meetings under the G7 umbrella took place throughout the year and in various locations around Japan. 

    The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt attended the Finance Minister’s and Central Bank Governor’s meeting in Niigata, with the UK leading efforts to encourage support for vulnerable countries, tackle economic coercion and further sanction Russia, to ensure strong supply chains and stable economies in which to continue trade relations. 

    The then Foreign Secretary, James Cleverley, attended the first Foreign Minister’s get-together in Karuizawa, Nagano in April. He then returned in November for the second Foreign Minister’s meeting. During his second visit he signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on People to People links, encouraging better business and travel flows between the UK and Japan. 

    Other G7 engagements saw British ministers meet counterparts and engage in particular with the host nation representatives. This included the shared ambition for net zero transition and a joint statement on renewables, the continued collaboration on advanced defence capabilities under the GCAP, as well as fruitful discussions on health and welfare, employment issues, transport and infrastructure. 

    Review of 2023: A year in Podcasts

    To continue our series reflecting on 2023, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the podcast episodes released in this calendar year.

    With the G7 and a number of trade missions making 2023 a full-on year for the DBT teams in Japan we suffered a break in scheduling over the summer, but that didn’t stop us rounding up some excellent speakers on a range of vital topics. Let’s take a look…

    Back in January we took a dive into marketing in Japan with Nanako from communications agency TAMLO. This engaging chat highlighted the particular needs of Japanese consumers to have localised content – it will not suffice to reuse global campaigns for this very individual market!

    The following episode jumped to the very different topic of the Defence and Security sector. We spoke with former Red Arrows pilot (among other things) Gary Waterfall. In his role representing Clarion, the organisers of DSEI he was able to give an overview of opportunities for British technology in the supply chain of the defence and security sector. Reference of course to the announcements of UK-Japan collaboration in the field.

    Switching sectors again, we moved into an enlightening case-study from the consumer and luxury goods sector. Rutherford’s have revived a very high quality traditional leather bag production. this caught the eye of a very keen and experienced importer/distributor, the strong relationship built between him and our speaker … was very clearly expressed and is a great lesson in building trust for the longer term investment in the market.

    In a long conversation that had to be split into a two-parter, we brought another first hand experience to you. This is a very interesting story of a company taking the time to slowly achieve increasing success in Japan, eventually securing a very lucrative deal with one of Japan’s communications giants! Talking with Bangotwice – we hear from an innovative company from the UK that has become the backbone of most of our online transactions.

    The next episode tackled the energy sector and a discussion with experts on the rapidly developing Hydrogen economy in Japan. UK expertise, represented by one of our guests, Professor Joe Howe, has a big opportunity to develop the technology and capability for hydrogen to support the net zero transition. Joining the conversation in Richard Lyle of Intralink – commissioned by DBT to provide an in-depth report on the topic.

    Another milestone of 2022/23 is the UK-Japan Digital Partnership agreement. We spoke with Jana Psarska from TechUK about what this means for opportunity and collaboration in the digital space.

    After our summer break, we came back with a discussion on the practicalities of Intellectual property for companies entering the Japanese market, and protecting your IP as a non-Japanese firm. Shiga Patent Office are long-standing experts in the field.

    When you establish in operations in Japan there is a strong chance you will need to employ some staff on the ground. Employment in Japan comes with its own considerations and difficulties. Hiroshi-san is an experienced lawyer in the field and has some sage advice for companies navigating employment law in Japan.

    For our November episode we caught up with our first ever podcast guest Tim Romero. A lot has happened globally in the intervening years! His was able to provide his current assessment of the landscape for international innovation and collaboration, with an eye on his vast start-up experience.

    2022-23 podcast series 

    2023-24 podcast series

    Let us not forget that this is only this year’s list. Please spend some time heading further back in the archive to access a wealth of information and shared experience across the sectors. If all or any of this inspires you to bring your business to the Japanese market, don’t hesitate to fill in our CONTACT form!

    Review of 2023: Secretary of State for Business & Trade visits Japan 

    This installment takes a brief look back at the visit of Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, who attended the trade minister’s G7 meeting in Osaka.  

    The Secretary of State kicked off her visit in Tokyo, heading up the first Secretary of State-led trade mission since 2017, seeking to boost UK luxury goods exports to Japan. She hosted a special buyers’ event and dinner at the British Embassy Tokyo before travelling to Osaka to the G7 Trade Ministerial Meeting, where she discussed the challenges in strengthening our supply chains, engaging with G7 counterparts including Japan’s Yasutoshi Nishimura, Katherine Tai of the US and EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovkis. 

    An important moment was the signing of a critical minerals Memorandum of Cooperation between the UK and Japan. The memorandum firmly demonstrates the commitment to improve the resilience, transparency and sustainability of critical mineral supply chains, with a view to developing future industries and creating jobs. 
    The minister also had the opportunity to meet Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa to discuss deepening the UK-Japan trade relationship. In the two years since the UK-Japan FTA (CEPA) was signed, we have seen reported exports of over £14 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2023, an increase of 7% on the previous year.  
    The visit follows the accession of UK to the regional CPTPP agreement, the Secretary of State attending the signing ceremony in New Zealand earlier in the year. With Japan being a crucial ally to accession, the opportunity was taken to thank in person those officials involved in helping UK join this important trade bloc. 

    Review of 2023: UK leading the way in Quantum and AI at CEATEC

    A high point in Japan’s tech calendar, the Department for Business and Trade at the British Embassy Tokyo (DBT Japan), hosted the UK Tech Conference as part of CEATEC 2023 (October 17-20, 2023) held at Makuhari Messe. The UK event comprised of two seminars on October 19th and 20th with the themes of quantum computing and AI. The AI conference was supported by the British Market Council (BMC) with a grant from the Institute for the Promotion of Trade and Industrial Cooperation (ITIC). Both conferences were well attended with over 500 people showing interest in both seminars.

    Japan-UK Collaboration: Paving the Way for Quantum Enabled Future

    The UK’s quantum computing event as part of CEATEC (October 19, 2023) comprised of keynote speeches and panel discussions moderated by Cambridge Consultants. Naomi Machii, Head of Technology, DBT Japan, opened the conference by explaining the importance of quantum computing technology in the UK in areas such as drug discovery and that £2.5 billion (JPY 450 billion) would be invested over the next five years. She continued to explain that international cooperation is essential for the development of quantum technology and that Japan is an important partner.

    A number of positive advances made in the field between UK and Japan:

    1) Toshiba has opened a new base of operations for quantum technology in Cambridge

    2) Hitachi has been conducting research and development in Cambridge for 30 years

    3) Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) and Fujitsu have formed an alliance, and OQC to install Quantum Computers in Equinix Data Center in Japan and Launch Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS).

    4) Development of quantum algorithms with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions (CTC).

    UK AI Showcase

    On the topic of AI technology, DBT Japan organised a panel discussion (October 20, 2023). Euan Edwards, Head of Digital Trade Network, delivered opening remarks and talked about the “Hiroshima Accord on an enhanced UK-Japan global strategic partnership” issued by PM Sunak and PM Kishida at the G7 Hiroshima Summit in May. This includes a commitment by the UK and Japan to work toward maintaining strategic advantages, including in emerging technology fields such as AI and quantum.

    The discussion was moderated by Margaret Tongue Minister-Counsellor Economic Diplomacy, British Embassy Tokyo.  Panellists included; Brian Mullins, CEO of Mind Foundry Ltd, Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxa Autonomy Ltd, and Garry Brotman, CEO of Secondmind Ltd, Professor Stephen Roberts, Oxford University discussed the secrets of success in UK AI followed by key factors to succeed in Japan, and the future of AI. DBT will continue to support UK AI development and expansion, as it is one of the 5 critical technologies published by the UK Government.

    Review of 2023: British Music Industry Mission to Japan

    Our next highlight in our review of the year tunes in to the creative industries, and a look back to the music industry mission in the summer.

    Orchestrated by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), alongside the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Creative Man (Tokyo), a delegation of British music industry representatives visited Tokyo from 18 – 25 August 2023. The mission aimed to open the door on the business opportunities for the British music industry in Japan.

    Japan Music revenues totalled US$2.8 billion in 2022 with growth of 5.4%. The market added US$140 million in revenue. Japan remained the largest market in the region, accounting for 45.9% of Asia’s revenues.

    The revenue growth in Japan came from both physical and digital formats. Japan remained the largest physical market globally, with a share of 33.2% in 2022, down slightly from the 33.8% that was reported in 2021. The market’s physical revenues increased by 2.3% which equated to revenue growth of US$35 million, taking the total to US$1.5 billion in 2022. This growth was driven by an increase in CD revenue.

    Opening with a visit to the showcase Summer Sonic Festival, the itinerary moved onto an introductory session that included a welcome from the British Ambassador to Japan, Julia Longbottom.  The delegation of 20 music professionals representing 18 companies involved in all aspects of the industry, from publishing and record labels to distribution and promotion, engaged in a range of educational sessions and site visits.

    Topics covered across the visit included music distribution, digital licensing, the strong physical market in Japan and the support for independent and DIY artists through to Japanese media landscape, live music and music tech in Japan to fan engagement, YouTube and virtual streaming. The British delegates had the opportunity to hear from significant players in the Japanese music landscape, including representatives from LINE, Tunecore Japan, Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic Festivals and Billboard Live.

    With a visit to a few of Tokyo’s famous record shops rounding off the visit, the delegation gained an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the music industry in Japan – and come away with lasting relationships to further cement to strong cultural bond between Japan and the UK in their shared love of music, and ensure British exports remain embedded in the Japanese music landscape.

    UK FinTech Mission to Japan 2024

    The UK is a global FinTech front-runner with extensive financial services expertise, world-class tech talent, and a progressive regulatory environment. There are various innovative FinTech startups/scaleups already successful in the UK and globally. Japan, too, has emerged as a country committed to digital transformation and in recent years, the digitalisation of financial services in Japan has accelerated.

    The Japanese financial services sector is seeking to work with innovative FinTech startups including ones from overseas and to keep shaping FinTech ecosystem to realise sustainable economic growth. For UK FinTech, there are particular opportunities around B2B products and services, including areas such as payments.

    To capitalise on this opportunity, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Japan team based at the British Embassy Tokyo will host a UK FinTech Mission to Japan in March 2024, as part of the very first “Japan FinTech Week” organised by Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA).  The mission will enable 10 UK firms to:

    The mission will include a briefing from key FinTech individuals including JFSA, participation in a tailor-made UK FinTech meetup event at the British Embassy Tokyo, and an exclusive networking lunch with Japanese government, business, VCs and multiplier associations who are keen to engage with UK FinTech companies.

    This is an exciting opportunity and will be the best time to visit Japan if you are seeking success in FinTech business in Japan, as there are many events/networking opportunities during the week (including Nikkei FinSUM, the Japan’s largest FinTech conference and Japan FinTech Festival organised by Elevandi Japan), the information of which DBT also curate and provide for the delegation.

    If you are interested in attending this mission, please submit your application via the link below by 11.59pm on Sunday 28th January 2024 (UK Time).  Successful applicants will be notified by the end of January. 

    Mission dates: 

    Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 March 2024 (Optional to arrive early or stay longer at own cost and arrangement)


    Tokyo (Optional trip to Fukuoka at own cost and arrangement in the following week to attend Fukuoka Financial Hub visit arranged by Elevandi Japan)

    Participation Fee:  

    £ 495 (+VAT) 

    (Flight and Accommodation are not included and need to be arranged by participants. We can advise on where to stay in Tokyo if helpful)



    Application Deadline:  

    End of Sunday 28 January 2024

    Eligibility and selection criteria: 
    • UK-headquartered FinTech Firms 
    • No legal entity in Japan
    • Strong interest in and potential fit with the Japanese market 
    • Companies utilising cutting edge technologies such as AI or quantum (or other critical technologies identified in the UK Science and Technology Framework) will be prioritised
    • We are looking at participants of 10 UK firms, with a maximum of x2 representatives per company
    Programmes and offers include: 
    • Market and Opportunity Briefing Session by JFSA, the Japanese financial regulator, and industry leaders (organised for the delegation by DBT Japan)
    • “UK FinTech Future event” at British Embassy Tokyo (Organised specifically for the delegation by DBT Japan in collaboration with JFSA (Japan Financial Services Agency), Elevandi Japan and FinTech Association of Japan; Pitch opportunities for participating UK FinTech companies in front of Japanese business audience followed by Networking with 80 plus guests of key individuals).
    • UK FinTech Lunch at Finolab (Organised specifically for the delegation by the British Embassy Tokyo in collaboration with Finolab), opportunities to meet with Japanese FinTech network.
    • Special Free Tickets to Nikkei FinSUM  (NB. Regular 4-days ticket cost 50,000 JPN including tax – around £250) including meetups, networking, conferences, roundtable etc.
    • 50% Discounted Ticket to Japan FinTech Festival including meetups and conferences (NB. Regular 5-days ticket cost $250)
    • Group company visits to Japanese Financial services institutes (tbc)

    Tuesday 5 MarchMarket & Opportunity Briefing
    Japan Fintech Festival (optional)
    Finolab – Tokyo Rooftop Night (optional)
    Wednesday 6 MarchFin/SUM
    Japan Fintech Festival (optional)
    UK Fintech LunchFree evening (may be networking events organised by Japan Fintech Festival)
    Thursday 7 MarchFin/SUM Impact Pitch (if selected as finalists)Finopitch (if selected as finalists)Free evening (may be networking events organised by Japan Fintech Festival)
    Friday 8 MarchGroup company visitsUK FinTech Meetup event at British Embassy TokyoFin/SUM after party (optional)
    Finolab late night party (optional)
    Table1: Tentative schedule

    Please contact Naomi Machii (naomi.machii@fcdo.gov.uk) or Anju Tarumi (anju.tarumi@fcdo.gov.uk) at the British Embassy Tokyo if you have any questions as regards to UK FinTech Mission.

    Other useful information

    Related to Japan Fintech Week, we would like to introduce two great pitching opportunities. Note: separate application directly to the organisers of each pitch is required. Please apply using the links below.

    Finopitch (Organised by Finolab)

    launched in 2012 and made the history of financial innovation in Japan. More than 200 startups from Japan and overseas, including companies such as AI inside, ConsenSys, Finatext holdings, FOLIO, freee, Hottlink, Kyash, Loadstar Capital, Money Forward, Moneytree, Paidy, Revolut and Zuu, have participated the contest so far.

    Application deadline: Sunday 31 December 2023
    Finalist Announcement: Friday 26 January 2024
    FINOPITCH / Award Ceremony: Thursday 7 Mar 2024

    FinSUM Impact Pitch (Organised by Nikkei FinSUM)

    Will serve as a gateway to success for startups that are using their FinTech services and products to address social issues. Selected startups will have the opportunity to make their final pitches at the event venue, with a focus on solving global social problems and expanding into the global marketplace. These pitches will be presented to a worldwide audience.

    Application deadline: Sunday 28 January 2024
    Finalist Announcement: tbc
    Impact pitch / Award Ceremony: Thursday 7 March 2024

    Review of 2023: Financial Services

    The cooperation between Japan and UK on financial regulation and green finance have provided a significant backdrop for potential opportunities for UK firms in the market. The DBT Team in Japan started the year by tapping into the great opportunity for asset management by running the 2023 Asset Management Mission to Japan.

    Asset Management Mission 2023

    With Japan holding over 2000 trillion JPY in personal financial assets, home to the second highest population of high-net-worth individuals in the world, and pension funds managing over 340 trillion JPY with an increased interest in international and alternative investments, a vast potential exists in the field of asset management.

    In March the DBT Financial Professional and Business Services team orchestrated the 2023 Asset Management Mission to Japan, working with The City of London Corporation and the Investment Association as part of the Global Investment Futures (GIF) campaign. The initiative brought 6 innovative and unique UK asset management firms to Tokyo to engage with potential clients, asset owners and partners to share ideas and views on asset management.

    As part of the mission, Impax Asset Management, J. Stern & Co., Orchard Global Asset Management, Foresight Group, NextEnergy Capital and Octopus investments took part in the 2023 Asset Management Seminar held at the Ambassador’s Residence at the British Embassy Tokyo, opened by the visiting Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Japan, Greg Clark.

    During the seminar, the audience was treated to panel discussions on ‘Investing During Turbulent Markets’ led by DBT Green Finance lead Wilf Bagnall and ‘Approaches to ESG and Sustainable Investing’ led by EY’s APAC sustainable finance lead, Heather Prosser (see our article on ESG).  The programme was completed by DBT’s Head of Financial Services Hugh De Lusignan delivering a keynote on ‘Investing in a Green Future’ and The City of London Corporation’s Trade and Investment Director Ben Cackett delivering his keynote on ‘The UK’s Innovative Ecosystem for Asset Management’. The itinerary afforded a valuable chance to network and forge connections, opening up the opportunity for future collaboration.

    City of London Lord Mayor Visits Tokyo

    May saw a visit from the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation are representatives for UK’s financial services industry, and his itinerary saw him meet with key stakeholders at the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Japan, FinCity.Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the JFSA. He also hosted a reception at the British Embassy Tokyo and paid a visit to Legal & General Investment Management’s Japan offices to promote the Global Investment Futures campaign and its goals to continue to position the UK and its firms as global financial leaders.  The take home message from the visit was a stronger resolve for the UK and Japan to work together and the visit succeeded in underlining the strong relationship between the City of London and Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

    UK firms celebrate success in Japan      

    During the year the DBT team supported notable events from UK companies celebrating success in the Japanese Market. With the British Embassy as the grand backdrop, key stakeholders were able to come together and recognise achievement and discuss ongoing opportunities.                                                                                                        

    Nikko AM Europe held an event in July to talk about Investing in Future Quality, and to showcase the Edinburgh method used by the Nikko AM Europe team. 

    Octopus Investments, together with Octopus Energy held an event following the announcement of £190m investment from Tokyo Gas into Octopus’ first dedicated offshore wind fund.  The event focused around the future of energy and showcased the investment opportunities to Japanese asset owners and managers.

    Orbis Investments took part in a seminar to discuss the importance of long-term investing under the title of ‘Role of Defined Benefit Pension and Expectations for Japanese Equities’.  The seminar was chaired by Sadayuki Horie, former GPIF full-time Management Committee Member.

    Green Finance

    In October the City of London Corporation and the British Embassy collaborated with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to host the ‘Tokyo-London Green Finance Seminar‘.

    Newly arrived Deputy Head of Mission, Emil Levendoglu, delivered a welcome speech at the seminar in Tokyo. Speakers from UK and Japan’s government and business spoke about the importance of taxonomies and creating the space for businesses to fund the green transition.

    Financial Regulatory Forum and joint UK-Japan Financial Dialogue

    The joint UK-Japan Financial Dialogue (FD) and Financial Regulatory Forum (FRF) was held in Tokyo on 27th November. Senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and Japan’s Financial Services Authority discussed a wide range of topics with their counterparts from HM-Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority. Areas of discussion included the macroeconomy and digital economy, transformation of the global landscape, and financial regulatory issues.

    A joint statement was published immediately after the FD and FRF were concluded. The statement can be found on gov.uk.

    The following day, there was also a FRF business round table held at the British Embassy Tokyo where UK and Japanese government officials raised some of the topics discussed at the FRF with UK and Japanese business representatives to hear their views and thoughts. 

    Review of 2023: UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum

    Installment number 3 takes a look back at a highlight for the nuclear sector, the 7th UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum.

    On October 25, the UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum, sponsored by the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the British Embassy in Japan, was held at the embassy in Tokyo, with additional support from the British Market Council, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), and the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF).

    Approximately a hundred people attended, representing 15 British companies and 31 Japanese companies (power companies, vendors, general contractors, trading companies, and others) to exchange information, opinions, and views.

    The forum – the seventh of its kind – focused for the first time on advanced nuclear technology including small modular reactors (SMRs), along with decommissioning and waste management.  The event highlighted the huge potential for collaboration between UK and Japan on nuclear energy issues, building on our existing partnership including joint decommissioning work at Fukushima Daiichi.

    Representatives from companies such as Rolls Royce, Core Power and MoltexFLEX as well as the UK Atomic Energy Authority participated in the event where they had the chance to showcase cutting edge UK developed technologies and explore the challenges, and potential solutions to developments in the nuclear industry.

    As Japan’s nuclear power policy develops, events like this help ensure that UK expertise and experience is front of mind in Japan, leading to deeper partnerships which will benefit the sector in both countries.

    Review of 2023: Luxury Brands Mission

    For our second featured look back at the year, we highlight the luxury brands cohort that came to Japan in a coordinated mission with our Secretary of State for Business & Trade, when she flew to Japan for the G7 Trade Ministers meeting in Osaka.

    The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)* accompanied a group of UK brands on a trade mission to Japan, alongside the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), the British Fashion Council and Walpole.  The Japan trade mission in October 2023, led by the Secretary of State for Business & Trade, Kemi Badenoch, marked the first Secretary-led trade mission of its kind since 2017.

    During the trip, the group were able to get a taste of the market conditions in Japan, and agining an understanding of the appetite for high-end products. As UKFT’s Director of International Business Paul Alger MBE, who has a long-standing relationship with the Japanese market, explains “Japan is a really important market for UK fashion and textiles, with a deep appreciation for quality, design and craftsmanship.”

    The delegation met Japanese fashion buyers and showcase their luxurious textiles, hand-painted scarves, fine jewellery, leather goods and high-end fashion to industry players and high-profile Japanese influencers at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

    In 2022, UK fashion goods exports to Japan totalled £134 million. It is hoped that the visit will foster an increase in exports of UK luxury brands to Japan, building on free trade deals such as the UK-Japan CEPA agreement and regional trade block, CPTPP. We will dive deeper into the Trade Minister’s G7 visit later on in this review of the year series, but for now more information on potential benefits to fashion and textile exporters under CPTPP can be found here.

    If you are a brand looking to the Japanese market to expand your international sales or take your first step into exports, Export to Japan and DBT can help you on this journey. Fill in the short enquiries form via our CONTACT PAGE.  

    The group of luxury brands included:
    • Anabela Chan: Anabela Chan is the first fine jewellery brand in the world to champion laboratory-grown gemstones and recycled metals.
    • Christy & Co: Christy & Co Ltd has been manufacturing fine hats in England since 1773. 
    • Ettinger: Ettinger were granted the Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales in 1996, which is a seal of approval for quality and trust.
    • Freya Rose: Freya Rose is renowned for her unique collections of sculptural, wearable works of art.
    • Hemingsworth: Hemingsworth is renowned for its high-end ready-to-wear swimwear and leisurewear for men. 
    • Johnstons of Elgin: Luxury, high quality textiles made in Scotland.
    • Rapport: Rapport craft accessories for preserving luxury watches and jewellery.  
    • Sabina Savage: Sabina is a British artist and print designer known for her exquisite, hand-rendered illustrations, printed on silk, wool and cashmere scarves.
    • Swaine: The House of Swaine is the oldest name in luxury goods, serving the British Royal Family, nobility and gentry for hundreds of years.

    * The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is the largest network for fashion and textile companies in the UK. It bring together designers, manufacturers, suppliers, agents, educators and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry, both in the UK and throughout the world.

    Review of 2023: Life Sciences

    Welcome to the first of a series of articles in the run up to the end of 2023. In our ‘Review of 2023’ we wanted to take a look back at the highlights, in collaborations with our colleagues in the Trade Team at the Department for Business & Trade in Japan and the UK bringing British businesses to Japan. Our first installment focuses on the Life Sciences sector.

    The year saw great activity for business and R&D connections in Life Sciences. With the health concerns of an ageing population and the drive to digitisation, great opportunity exists for UK-Japan collaboration, innovation and development in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotech and digital health.  The tireless work of the Department for Business & Trade (DBT) team in Japan to capitalise on opportunities for UK and Japanese businesses in the sector had some particular highlights in the year.

    UK seminar at Pharm IT & Digital Health Expo

    In April the DBT Japan Life Sciences team organised UK seminar at the Pharma IT & Digital Health Expo.  8 UK companies presented their digital health offerings at the event which took place at Tokyo Big Sight, one of Japan’s biggest exhibition centres.

    Cambridge Consultants, AstraZeneca Japan, Exscientia, SciBite Ltd, Global Pricing Innovations, Perspectum, Arete Medical Technologies and Siloton were all represented at the event.

    The UK seminar held on the event day attracted over 100 attendees, and resulted in a number of companies successfully arranging 1-1 introductions.

    3rd Reverse Pitch Webinar

    In July the Life Sciences team hosted a reverse pitch webinar inviting speakers from 6 Japanese research based pharmaceutical companies.

    Astellas Pharma Inc, Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Shionogi & Co Ltd and Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd. presented on their therapeutic focus areas and R&D and in-licensing wish lists.  This is the 3rd year since this event has been hosted.

    Over 200 professionals registered for the webinar from UK universities and biotech companies. Post event engagement saw over 140 introductions and 25 introductory calls arranged to discuss potential collaboration opportunities in more details.    

    The team received a wealth of positive feedback from UK companies welcoming the insight into research priorities and collaboration structures of the Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Similarly, the Japanese companies presenting relished the opportunity to meet UK biotech companies, which they usually have difficulties accessing.

    UK Life Sciences Symposium on 10 October 2023

    A major highlight of the year came in October, when a UK Life Sciences Symposium was held as a side event to UK participation to BioJapan to showcase UK expertise, strengths and the offer from UK biotechs and universities. The event helped to facilitate potential research collaborations between UK universities and Japanese pharma companies as well as collaboration between UK biotech and Japanese pharma companies especially around drug discovery and development.

    The symposium was a great opportunity to raise the profile of the UK life sciences industry, both for trade and investment. It was jointly hosted by DBT Japan team, Link-J and MedCity/London & Partners, and attracted an audience of over 160 local Japanese businesses from the Life Science industry.

    A total of 25 UK universities and companies visited Japan for BioJapan, including 7 companies from London & Partners’ Glow London Global Programme, as well as 6 Imperial College London’s spinouts:

    London & Partners | MedCity; Cancer Research UK/Cancer Research Horizons; Imperial College London; Kings College London; Queen Mary University/Barts Life Sciences; Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC); Health Innovation Network East; Richmond Pharmacology; Optimal Industrial Technologies; Curenetics (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); iLoF (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); LIfT Biosciences (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); Pangea Botanica (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); Phaim Pharma (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); Plasticell (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); Sixfold Bioscience (Grow London Global LS Trade Mission Company); Charco Neurotech (Imperial College London start-up); Organa (Imperial College London start-up); ROAM Medical (Imperial College London start-up); Smart Surgical Solutions (Imperial College London start-up); Biomex (Imperial College London start-up); Matrix (Imperial College London start-up); Fitabeo Therapeutics; Axol Biosciences; TTP.

    FINOPITCH 2024 is open for entry!

    FINOLAB (the Fintech Center of Tokyo) holds this pitch event annually, inviting participants from overseas FinTech startups.

    More information can be found here: FINOPITCH 2024

    Application Requirements
    – Must be a FinTech startup.
    – Must have products/services available for demonstration.
    – Must agree to the contents of the entry form.
    – In principle, the Finalist are asked to pitch on site in Tokyo on Mar. 7, 2024. But depending on the travel situation, we may discuss for the alternative presentation method.
    – The startup company should be founded within the past 7 years and the service should be released within the past 3 years, with the aspiration to enter Japan market.

    Pitch Format
    Up to 7 minutes presentation and demonstration in English, including video broadcasts.

    Impact | Impact on the Financial Industry
    Creativity | Innovative Business Model
    Growth | Business Growth Potential
    Expansion | Global Market Expansion

    Grand Prize / Audience Awards / Supporter Awards

    If you have any questions, please contact: hello+FINOPITCH@finolab.co.jp

    The next one will be held as part of Japan FinTech Week March 7th – Applications are open until December 31, 2023.

    SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 Global Startup Program

    Sustainable High City Tech for a future – Fostering open innovation with startups from Tokyo to the world.

    Asia’s largest and Japan’s only global innovation conference that creates “new encounters” with both domestic and international startup ecosystems to solve the common global urban issues.


    Event Details

    • Schedule:Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16, 2024
    • Locaton:Tokyo Big Sight, West Exhibition Halls 1 & 2(3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo) *Hybrid venue and online event (booths will be exhibited only at the venue).”
    • Organizer:SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024 Global Startup Program executive committee
    • Program:Keynote/Session/Booth exhibit/Business matching


    • Total number of participants (online/offline total): 40,000,000
    • Number of startups exhibiting: over 400
    • Number of startups to attend: over 4,000

    Booth Exhibit

    Applications have started to be accepted from startups who wish to exhibit at this event. Eligible startups are encouraged to apply via this Application Form. Application Deadline: 22nd December, 2023.

    The event offers the chance to:

    • Create opportunities to collaborate and partner with other startups and large companies.
    • Obtain information on urban issues faced by cities around the world and advanced case studies on how to solve these issues.
    • Have the possibility to participate in business meetings attended by decision makers from Japanese companies.
    • Interact with investors, media, etc., in addition to cities and companies from around the world
    • Network with cities and companies from around the world that support startups (contributing to the formation of a global startup ecosystem for the realization of a sustainable society)

    In the last event, 328 startups from 41 countries and regions exhibited. A total of 26,743 people from 293 cities in 67 countries participated. An average of 10 business meetings leading to collaboration occurred per exhibiting startup.

    Pitch Contest

    There is also a global pitch contest, to be held at SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024, where selected startups from Japan and abroad will showcase their technologies and ideas to combat the challenges the world is facing.

    Eligible startups are encouraged to apply via this Application Form. Application Deadline: 22nd December, 2023.

    This pitch contest will be an opportunity for startups working on businesses that have a significant social and economic impact by solving social issues and achieving economic growth at the same time, to gain global attention and opportunities for significant growth. In the last event, 338 startups from over 35 countries and cities applied for the contest, and a wide variety of startups gave their presentations. In addition to the 10 million yen cash prize for the winner of the Pitch Contest, other special prizes were also offered by sponsors.

    Innovation and collaboration in Japan – with Tim Romero

    In this episode we reconnect with our very first guest, Tim Romero, who brought his insights from the world of start-ups.

    Today we have him back for a fascinating chat which covers a range of topics, including changing receptivity to innovation and collaboration among industry and government in Japan as well as touching upon digital transformation.

    At the time of talking to Tim he is about to embark on a new role as Partner at JERA Ventures, investing in startups that can support the Japanese energy firm deliver in decarbonisation and digital transformation. Among his vast experience he also provides perspective from his recent stint as Head of Google Startups Japan.

    Tim is also the host of his own successful podcast focussing on the impact of startups in shaping the Japanese economic landscape: ‘Disrupting Japan’.

    Japanese Aerospace 2024

    JA2024 will be held from October 16 thru 19, 2024, at TOKYO BIG SIGHT in Japan.

    JA is the largest aerospace exhibition in Japan showcasing the best of the world’s aviation, space, and defense industries, as well as new areas such as UAM (eVTOL, Drone), decarbonization (SAF, Hydrogen, Electrification) and New Space (Small satellite, Space exploration).

    Companies from a wide range of domestic and foreign industries will exhibit and you will see the many opportunities to expand your business.

    Please refer JA2024 website for the further information:


    All information is packed in the exhibition guide (PDF) which you can download from the website:


    JA2024 has started to accept the application/registration on the official website. The deadline will be Apr. 30, 2024.

    For the major companies, please apply/register via the official website. For the SMEs, please contact ADS.


    The JA team are looking forward to your participation as exhibitor in JA2024.

    International Trade Week

    Led by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), in partnership with industry, ITW features a variety of activities for companies such as events, workshops and webinars.

    Whether you’re looking to secure your first export contract or expand your existing international sales, ITW will have something for you. The week’s activities are for UK companies of all sizes and sectors – whether selling goods or services – you just need an interest in growing your business.

    Across the week, ITW will:  

    • develop your exporting knowledge and skills,
    • showcase the wide-ranging support available from DBT and its partners,
    • highlight global export opportunities,
    • explain the benefits of the UK’s trade agreements, and
    • enable you to hear from and speak to experts in international trade.

    DBT Japan and Export to Japan are participating in a couple of events, Both on Wednesday 8th November at 9am GMT:

    Opportunities and Challenges of the Japanese cheese market. Kae-san will lead a session targeted at ITAs and UK Cheese exporters.

    UK Export Academy special CPTPP Teach-in: Come and learn about Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia! Steve and Miyoko (Export to Japan) will provide the Japan overview.

    The full ITW listings are here: ITW 2023 (great.gov.uk)

    CEATEC 2023

    Japan’s flagship tech event, hosted by JEITA, returns for another year. With a a focus on next generation tech, in areas including AI, IoT, Quantum tech, Auto tech, Semiconductors and Photonics. With innovative contribution from major Japanese electronics/ICT players, e.g. Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Elec and Hitachi, and a wide range of international exhibitors. Last year saw as many as 80K people visiting, from a mixture of Electronics/ICT manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, devices/components manufacturers and trading firms. In addition to the exhibition stands, CEATEC offers exclusive events and talks. Check the website for details.

    The British Embassy Tokyo is working with partners to deliver two key events this year:

    Japan-UK Collaboration: Paving the Way for Quantum Enabled Future

    UK AI Showcase

    CPhI Japan / Pharma IT & Digital Health Expo

    Each year CPhI brings more than 100,000 pharmaceutical professionals through exhibitions, conferences and online communities to network, identify business opportunities and expand the global market.

    Hosting events in Europe, China, Korea, India, Japan, South East Asia, Middle East and North America, CPhI co-locates with ICSE for contract services, P-MEC for machinery, equipment and technology, InnoPack for pharmaceutical packaging, Bioproduction for biopharma and FDF for every aspect of the finished dosage supply chain.  Since 2021,  Pharma IT & Digital Health Expo has been also co-organised as the only IT event in Japan dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry, with the aim of promoting the use of IT in R&D, manufacturing and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Bio Japan

    Asia’s largest partnering event and consists of exhibition, seminar, and partnering program. 

    The event is constituted of three exhibitions –

    1. BioJapan, 

    2. Regenerative Medicine JAPAN, aiming to accelerate and industrialise R&D in the field of regenerative medicine including iPS cells, and

    3. health TECH JAPAN, providing fusion of digital technology and life science.  Hybrid partnering programme is run by both in person and online.

    Tokyo-London Green Finance Seminar 2023

    Since 2017, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has been deepening its collaboration with the City of London through finance seminars, financial education programs, etc.

    TMG is pleased to inform you that we will be hosting the “Tokyo-London Green Financial Seminar 2023” with the City of London Corporation and the British Embassy in Tokyo. Please join us for this great opportunity to learn about the latest trends and the intercity cooperation in Green Finance in the UK and Japan!

    1. Date and time:

    Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 9:00am-10:30am BST (5:00pm-6:30pm JST)

    2. Target Audience:

    Anyone is welcome including Japanese and foreign finance professionals, relevant ministries and organisations, interested residents of Tokyo, etc.

    * Japanese/English interpretation will be available

    3. Viewing method:

    (a) In-person (Hotel Monterey Hanzomon), or (b) Online webinar
    * Participation is free of charge and requires advance registration

    Register by the deadline below at Website; https://greenfinancesemi.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/index_en.html

    (a) In-person: by 11:00am BST (7:00pm JST), Thursday 5 October 2023

    (b) Online webinar: by 4:00am BST (12:00pm JST), Tuesday 10 October 2023

    4. Support and Cooperation:

    This seminar is supported by JFSA (Financial Services Agency Japan) and cooperated by Green Finance Network Japan. And this is part of the Tokyo Sustainable Finance Week 2023, which is a special week that focuses on events related to sustainable finance with the aim of promoting ESG investment and sustainable finance, which contribute to building a sustainable city, and increasing Tokyo’s presence in this field.

    5. Programme (planned)              *without honorifics

    Time (BST)Time (JST)Topic/TitleSpeakers
    9:00am5:00pmOpening RemarksBritish Government Official (TBD)
    9:02am5:02pmKeynote SpeechAlderman Nicholas LYONS, The Lord Mayor of the City of London
    9:09am5:09pmSpeechYAMAOKA Hiromi, Special Advisor for International Finance, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Board Member and Chief Sustainability Officer, Future Corporation)
    9:16am5:16pmDiscussion “Deepening of Japan-UK Cooperation in Green Finance”Speakers UK: Mark MANNING, Strategic Policy Advisor on Sustainable Finance, FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
    Japan: IKEDA Satoshi, Chief Sustainable Finance Officer, JFSA (Financial Services Agency Japan)
    Moderator YAMAOKA Hiromi, Special Advisor for International Finance, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Board Member and Chief Sustainability Officer, Future Corporation)
    9:41am5:41pmPanel Discussion “Efforts towards net zero in Japan and the UK and the possibility of international collaboration”Panelists UK: – HIROSE Ken, CAIA, Head of Japan, Index Investments Group, FTSE Russell / LSEG – FUJITA Manabu, Head of M&G Investments Japan Japan: – MATSUO Takumi, Senior Officer in Corporate Strategy Department, Japan Exchange Group/ Head of Carbon Credit Market Office, Tokyo Stock Exchange -角田真一 サステナブルビジネス部 執行理事部長
    Moderator ISHIKAWA Junko, Expert Researcher, Financial Market & Digital Business Research Department, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
    10:26am6:26pmClosing RemarksKOIKE Yuriko, Governor of Tokyo

    *Please note that the contents of the program are subject to change without advance notice. Please check our website for the latest program.

    Website: https://greenfinancesemi.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/index_en.htm


    Office for Startup and Global Financial City Strategy, Tokyo Metropolitan Government

    Email: S1130103(at)section.metro.tokyo.jp

    * The above e-mail address has been arranged as an anti-spam measure. Please replace (at) with @.

    WEBINAR: Expo 2025, Opportunities for UK creativity and innovation

    Taking place from April – October 2025 in Osaka, Japan, Expo 2025 is beginning the process of procuring products and services for the many Pavilions that will form part of this blockbuster event.

    During this webinar, participants had the opportunity to find out more about Expo 2025, the emerging supply opportunities for UK creative and technology companies that span the experience economy sector. Attendees also heard from companies that have worked on previous World Expos who will share their knowledge and insights.

    Speakers included:

    Matthew Ellis – Osaka Expo Attaché, British Consulate-General Osaka

    Sachiko Yoshimura, Director General of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition

    Jim Broughton, Director of Strategy at Event Communications

    Peter Herring, Head of Engineering at Creative Technology

    Engine Forum Kobe 2024


    Engine Forum Kobe is a supply chain event dedicated to aero-engines, turbines and other propulsion and power generation equipment. It will be a unique venue for OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and contract manufacturers to connect through pre-arranged one-to-one meetings.

    Engine Forum Kobe will also feature a plenary conference where prominent speakers will address the industries growth opportunities, future technology directions and how supply chain companies can improve their performance.

    You can also benefit from of 3 opportunities to network and enhance your business:
    1. Pre-arranged one-to-one meetings between participants
    2. High-level conferences and workshops led by industry experts
    3. Networking cocktail

    You can also opt for a combined on-line and on-site formula, or simply join Engine Forum Kobe on-site if you are able.

    Aeromart Nagoya

    Aeromart Nagoya is a flagship aerospace B2B event in Japan. It covers a wide array of topics related to the latest technologies and trends for supply chain continuity and manufacturing competitiveness.

    It is a unique B2B matchmaking platform that gather buyers (OEMs & Tier-1 suppliers) and different types of suppliers from the entire manufacturing supply chain and give you the opportunity to make new connections and strengthen your existing ones.

    Osaka Kansai Business Support Expo

    Would you be interested in taking part in UK stand at Osaka Kansai Business Support Expo? 

    DBT Japan are planning to hold 2 booths to showcase UK companies who have interest in exploring business opportunities at Osaka Expo 2025.   Please contact expo2025osaka@fcdo.gov.uk to if you are interested. 


    This opportunity is especially relevant for companies that have: 

    • A track records in global events (e.g. Olympics, World cup), previous Expos (e.g. Dubai) and large-scale amusement parks/projects; and 
    • A partner company in Japan or already has a Japan office; or 
    • Plans to set up own entity or partnership in Japan.

    Application Deadline: Friday 15 September 

    Within the 2 booths, the plan is to accommodate up to 8 companies.  If interest is received from a larger number of companies, you may be asked to contribute OR companies may be selected to be taken on board at the discretion of DBT Japan. 

    The Ask:  

    • UK companies to provide display materials (e.g. posters, brochures, banners) at their cost to deliver to DBT Japan offices by 20 October. No need to prepare Japanese language material, unless you have already prepared one.  NB:  DBT Japan will NOT return the items you sent to us. 

    The Offer: 

    • Participation cost:  FREE.  British Consulate-General will secure and pay for the space and coordinate the display/decoration of the two UK booths. 
    • DBT Japan will produce a list of UK companies taking part, with short business background info in Japanese to distribute at the booth. 
    • DBT Japan staff to man the stand but would absolutely welcome UK delegates to fly in to Japan to man the stand or any of your members who already plan to be in Japan or Asia during that period.  

    Toyota Open Labs – open innovation platform

    Toyota Open Labs is an open innovation platform bringing together startups with business units across the Toyota ecosystem, to scale innovation and lead the market into the next phase of mobility.

    With TARGET AREAS of Energy, Circular Economy, Carbon Neutrality, Smart Communities and Mobility for All ambitious entrepreneurs and companies, with a particular focus on growth-stage and scaleup are encouraged to apply.

    Successful applicants will gain access to strategic expertise, funding and a global stage.

    Proposals are asked to be submitted NO LATER THAN 30th September 2023.

    More details can be found at the website: Toyota Open Labs

    Invest in Aichi-Nagoya Acceleration Initiative – Gateway to Japanese Innovation

    This seminar organized by the INVEST IN AICHI-NAGOYA CONSORTIUM has been carefully crafted to provide valuable insights for foreign companies interested in establishing a presence in Aichi Prefecture.

    “Invest in Aichi-Nagoya Acceleration Seminar”

    Visit the official website: https://www.invest-an.jp/en/

    Date and Time:

    September 12, 2023, 10:00 AM (CEST), 5:00 PM (JST) / Europe Session

    September 13, 2023, 10:00 AM (CST), 11:00 AM (JST) / Asia Session

    September 13, 2023, 4:00 PM (PDT), September 14, 8:00 AM (JST) / USA Session

     * Duration: Approximately one hour for each session


    Online via Zoom


    Esteemed industry experts will delve into the compelling aspects of Aichi-Nagoya for foreign enterprises. The discussion will cover key areas including Aichi as the Innovative Manufacturing Center of Japan, successful market entry case studies, challenges and success factors, business collaborations with Japanese companies, subsidies and support provided by Aichi Prefecture, and prospects for business partnerships with prominent entities in Aichi Prefecture. Notably, Aichi is home to renowned global manufacturing giants such as Toyota, DENSO.

    This seminar offers a unique opportunity that should not be overlooked. The entire event will be conducted in English and participation is free of charge.

    For a detailed agenda, please visit: https://www.invest-an.jp/en/

    To register, kindly complete the Application Form provided on the agenda page.

    In this seminar, an advance notification of the next event will be provided, which is an online business matching event with Aichi Companies, organized by INVEST IN AICHI-NAGOYA CONSORTIUM scheduled for November 16 and 17.

    NB: The INVEST IN AICHI-NAGOYA CONSORTIUM was established in March 2022, comprising Aichi Prefecture, City of Nagoya and other public organizations. The consortium’s objective is to attract foreign companies to Aichi Prefecture, fostering business innovation through collaboration with local companies.

    Opportunities in Japan – Northern Powerhouse

    Businesses from across the North of England are invited to join us on Wednesday 6 September 2023 for a webinar to explore their potential in Japan. 

    Taking place between 09:00 and 10:00, delegates will have the opportunity to hear from our colleagues from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) in Japan and representatives from Export to Japan, who will highlight the key opportunities that exist within these sectors and market entry requirements.

    The session is designed for businesses who have exported previously and operate within the following four sectors:

    • Decarbonisation
    • Financial, professional and business services
    • Life sciences
    • Technology, including cyber security

    Come along to have your questions answered and explore if Japan is the right step for your business growth plans.

    Flyer for the session here

    MIPRO Startup Seminar

    Key Points of Tax for Foreigners Starting Business in Japan

    As MIPRO say:

    “Knowledge of taxation is essential for running a company in Japan. This time, we will have Ms. Sakashita of Sakashita International Tax Accountant Co. as a speaker. She will explain the difference in tax between running a business as a sole proprietorship and running a business as a company.

    By attending this seminar, you will be able to decide which type of business is more suitable for your business. Ms. Sakashita will also provide you with the latest information about the invoice system scheduled to be implemented from coming October.

    By participating in this seminar, we are sure the chances of success in Japan will increase!”

    This FREE seminar will be conducted in English.


    A brand-new event between Europe and Japan for industry 5.0

    Smart Manufacturing Summit is a brand-new event between Europe and Japan dedicated to the industry of the future. Smart Manufacturing Summit will gather companies and institutions, clusters, regions from Japan and Europe to generate business opportunities, share a long-term and sustainable vision and help developing innovation and research for industry 5.0.

    More than a simple tradeshow

    Smart Manufacturing Summit is more than a simple tradeshow combining:

    • an exhibition part (Smart Manufacturing Expo)
    • a Business Summit (program of conferences)
    • Innovation Showcase (dedicated to innovative solutions and products focusing on startups)
    • Smart Factory Demonstrator (state-of-the-art machinery demonstration)
    • Smart Factory Tour (factories’ visits).

    Six major categories of industry 5.0 will be represented:

    • Connected Manufacturing
    • Advanced technology & Materials
    • Digital Ecosystems
    • Sustainable Manufacturing
    • Smart Mobilities
    • Renewable Energy.

    More details to apply as exhibitor, startup and sponsor:

    WEBINAR: Introduction to Doing Business in Japan – OSAKA EXPO 2025

    Expo 2025 will be held in Osaka, Japan. It will take place for six months, opening 13 April 2025 and closing 13 October 2025. It will be the third time Japan has hosted a World Expo, having previously hosted Expo 1970 in Osaka and 2005 in Aichi. The projected visitor count is approximately 28 million.

    To help UK companies prepare for an array of business opportunities on this Expo, Experience UK together with the British Embassy in Tokyo and British Consulate-General in Osaka, hosted a webinar to provide an introduction to doing business in Japan.

    The session took the form of a ’round table’ and participants heard from:

    • Marie-Claire Joyce, Trade Counsellor, British Embassy Tokyo
    • Richard Parry, Experience Economy Lead, Department for Business and Trade
    • Matthew Ellis, Osaka Expo Attache, British Consulate General Osaka 
    • Katie Keith, Head of Partnerships, Currencies Direct
    • Takuya Aibe, CEO, Gallagher Japan, Inc
    • Yasuyuki Harada, Managing Director, Gallagher Japan, Inc.
    • Go Izumisawa, Head of Japan Business, Tangerine

    Following the presentations, participants had the opportunity to ask the panel questions.

    X-HUB TOKYO Acceleration Program for Tokyo Market Entry

    Applications Now Open!

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government is accepting applications for X-HUB TOKYO INBOUND PROGRAM, an acceleration program to support cutting-edge startups for entering Tokyo market.


    This online program supports non-Japanese startups seeking to expand their business into Tokyo across the 2 business domains of Mobility and CleanTech.

    The program offers various sessions to provide insight and give you an idea of what to expect when entering the Tokyo market.

    • Lectures by experts in laws, regulations, hiring, HR, etc.
    • Business matching opportunities with Japanese large companies, VCs, and others
    • Mentoring from experienced consultants with expertise in international startups entering Japanese market
    • …and much more

    More details and how to apply can be found in the following document:


    Notice on Call for Suppliers to be Referred by Official Participants

    10th July 2023

    The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition is compiling a list of agencies to provide services in relation to the pavilions of Official Participants (foreign governments and international organisations that have accepted the official invitation to participate in the Expo). It calls for applications from agencies wishing to be included in the list. The provision of this list to Official Participants, for their reference, is required pursuant to Article 10 of the Special Regulation No. 2 for the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. Details on the types of services called for are described at the link below. 

    There are specific opportunities for 1) Architecture and Engineering and 2) Display (Exhibition decoration) for UK companies without existing Japanese operation.

    Note that agencies should refrain from applying if they already applied last year to avoid a redundant registration.

    It’s worth noting that there are 150 countries and 25 international organisations expected to participate in the Expo, of which around 50 participating countries are going to construct their pavilions themselves.

    Details are as available at the official site: Notice on Call for Suppliers to be Referred by Official Participants | Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (expo2025.or.jp)

    Note that the deadline is Japan time.

    Independent Ageing 2023

    Expo and Convention
    Innovative Solutions & Technologies for the Ageing Population

    As life expectancy is increasing the world population is ageing. Many ageing people wish to continue with their independent lifestyle yet require support to do that. A combination of methodology and technology could enable most aging people to continue with their independent lifestyle.

    Independent Ageing is an international B2B and B2P event with 1,000 – 2,000 expected participants. The sessions will be centered around a main Expo with opportunities to showcase directly to your audience, schedule meetings with partners, and network with other businesses and organizations.

    Showcasing ‘AgeTech’

    There may still be opportunity to showcase for UK ‘AgeTech’ companies representing a market ready product in any of the following sectors of interest:

    – Lifestyle (Mobility, Safety, Learning)
    – Medical (Healthcare, Caregiving)
    – Health and Wellness (Cognitive, Emotional, Psychological, Physical)
    – Social and Communication (Staying Connected, Engagement and Purpose)
    – Financial (Financial Management, End of Life Planning)

    EXPO 2025: Design, Build, Maintain & Decommission (DMBD) contract.

    Latest news on OSAKA KANSAI EXPO 2025.

    Bidding is now open for the Design, Build, Maintain & Decommission (DMBD) contract.

    Find more information on the Gov.uk contracts finder and tender service portals:

    UK Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka – Design, Build, Maintain & Decommission (DBMD) – Find a Tender (find-tender.service.gov.uk)

    UK Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka – Design, Build, Maintain & Decommission (DBMD) – Contracts Finder

    The Seventh UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum

    The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is arranging the Seventh UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum to be held at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

    The forum is organised with the support of the British Market Council.

    Attendees will include senior members of both Industry and Government from the UK and Japan including representatives from METI, TEPCO and JAEA.

    Forum Programme

    Tue 24th Oct (evening): Networking drinks reception
    Wed 25th Oct: 7th UK-Japan Nuclear Industry Forum, comprising of talks from government and industry in both countries and networking sessions
    Thu 26th Oct: Optional plant tour of Fukushima Dai-ichi (numbers limited)

    Event Details

    • There will be a limit of ~20 UK companies, and attendance for the forum will be limited to two people per (UK) company. If the event is over-subscribed, a selection process may need to be followed
    • There will be no charge for this event this year

    If you would like to attend this high profile event, please apply by filling in the registration form here by Fri 1st September.

    ON Helix 

    This one-day conference will address key bio innovation trends, from developments in life science and technology research to their translation into new diagnostics, prevention tools or treatments.

    Delegates and Supporters will connect with the One Nucleus network to explore New Horizons for Bio Innovation.

    ON Helix Key Benefits:

    • High content mix of plenary talks and panels from key opinion leaders.
    • Networking with 250+ delegates on the day.
    • Option to arrange 1 to 1 virtual meetings with in-person and digital only delegates.
    • The ON Helix Fringe events including digital Innovation Workshops for further technical and business insights and additional in-person networking opportunities.
    • The Innovation Support Hub Exhibition, to showcase the most innovative early-stage life science companies as well as the innovation supporters from the network.

    If you are interested, please register from here http://www.onhelix.com/registration/

    3rd Reverse Pitch Webinar: Collaboration Opportunities with Japanese Pharma Companies

    Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Japan were delighted to host the 3rd webinar inviting speakers from pre-clinical stage R&D / Business Development of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies: Astellas Pharma Inc, Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Shionogi & Co Ltd and Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd.   

    This webinar targeted for UK organisations in the Life Sciences industry and was an ideal opportunity to learn research priorities and collaboration structures of the Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

    DBT Japan Team will also assist 1:1 call requests from UK companies. Please send non-confidential information to DBT Japan at LS.Japan.trade@fco.gov.uk, indicating which companies you wish to have a meeting with, and how your technology fits their research priorities.  We will set up meetings with those agreed.










    Opening Remarks / Housekeeping 

    Astellas Pharma Inc

    Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

    Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

    Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

    Shionogi & Co Ltd

    Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd


    *Q&A Moderator: Dr Ivana Poparic, Head of Life Sciences Cluster Development, London & Partners

    Key interest areas from the companies are:

    Astellas Pharma Inc

    Astellas is interested in emerging areas of drug discovery including new biological insights, platforms, and modalities across multiple therapeutic areas.

    • Cell and gene therapy programs and technologies for regeneration of eye and other organs
    • AAV gene therapy projects and technologies
    • Programs and technologies to modulate mitochondria related pathway
    • Novel immuno-oncology programs
    • Targeted protein degradation programs and technologies
    • New technologies and modalities for immune regulation, including immunoregulatory cell therapy

    Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

    Daiichi Sankyo is interested in disruptive science in the preclinical phase and seeking early-stage technology platform-based opportunities for research collaboration with universities or startups.


    • Novel protein degradation technologies that are based on other than the ubiquitin-proteosome system
    • Cutting-edge technologies that enable targeting “undruggable” epigenetics-related molecules
    • Unique antibodies or binders (e.g. scFv) against tumor-associated antigens that are applicable to antibody and/or cell therapies


    • Research for finding brand new therapeutic targets to tackle UMN of psychiatric diseases based on human disease information
    • Novel research on glial cell function that can reveal the relevance of the progression of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. neuroinflammation, cellular metabolism, and senescence)

    Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

    • Drug seeds realizing precision medicines for ALS, MELAS, MSA, PSP, FTD and ASD
    • Drug seeds for targeted protein degradations or antibody drug conjugates for refractory cancers
    • Clinical samples, cell models, and animal models for above diseases
    • Targeted protein degradation technologies regarding tissue specific E3 ligase
    • DDS or formulation that enable oral administration of middle-molecular weight compounds
    • Biomarkers that can be implemented in clinical trials for above diseases (including by wearable devices)

    Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

    • Global Focus: Psychiatry / Neurology / Nephrology / Autoimmune
    • Evolutionary/Innovative Science with drug candidate screening/design/selection system in place
    • mRNA therapeutics with distinct nucleotide bricks
    • Small molecules inhibit protein-protein interaction as antibody.
    • New and improve antibody delivery system (e.g. oral and high-volume SQ)
    • Any novel modalities/molecules to reduce Amyloid beta oligomers

    Shionogi & Co Ltd

    • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in infectious diseases (esp. HIV, HBV, RSV, AMR, NTM*, Pandemic preparedness) and respiratory diseases
    • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in dementia (symptomatic relief) and cognitive impairment
    • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in sleep disorders (sleep apnoea), sensory loss (hearing loss) and mobility disorders (aging related)
    • Research collaboration and partnership opportunities in vaccine discovery
    • Phase 2 and 3 clinical assets in infectious diseases and CNS areas

    (NTM*: Nontuberculous Mycobacteria)

    Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd

    Sumitomo is exploring opportunities for Assets and Technologies in CNS and Oncology fields, and Platform Technologies.

    • Psychiatry: Drug discovery based on neural circuit pathology
    • Neurology: Drug discovery based on molecular pathophysiological mechanisms
    • Oncology: Novel therapeutic targets or agents targeting context-dependent cancer vulnerabilities, Novel immunotherapies
    • Platform Technologies: Drug discovery platform, Drug delivery system, Novel modality suitable for our focused areas

    Prime Minister acknowledges UK success in Japan

    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in Tokyo this May, in advance of his visit to Hiroshima for the G7 Leader’s Summit. He addressed an exclusive business reception hosted by the British Embassy Tokyo and Department of Business and Trade. It was an opportunity to celebrate the success of a number of UK companies in Japan, and to announce that major Japanese companies are investing nearly £18 million into businesses and projects across the UK.

    The Prime Minister acknowledged the great strides taken by UK companies investing in the Japanese economy. Octopus Energy, Mott MacDonald and Leonardo were namechecked for announcing major contracts. Further to these substantial inroads into the Japanese market, Sunak referred to the great work of British start-ups and scale-ups announcing new partnerships and offices in Japan.

    Octopus Energy

    Octopus Energy announced its commitment to invest £1.5 billion in the Asia-Pacific energy market by 2027, helping speed up the region’s transition to a cleaner, smarter energy system. Octopus will also commit £300m to expand its tech innovation and energy retail hub in Tokyo. This will enable the business to increase its headcount tenfold by 2027, creating 1,000 green jobs for UK and local talent.

    “International cooperation is the key to creating an energy transition which benefits consumers and economies as well as the climate. Our partnership with Tokyo Gas has grown ever stronger and I’m delighted to be bringing even more investment to Japan and into the UK.”

    Greg Jackson, Founder of Octopus Energy Group

    Mott MacDonald

    Building on the UK’s expertise in offshore wind, UK consultancy Mott MacDonald has secured a major contract to help develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind farm in Kitakyushu, western Japan that could power more than 1756,000 homes with clean energy.

     “This successful milestone achievement reinforces the confidence in the potential of the Japanese offshore wind market. The opportunities for collaboration across borders and the continued projection of our industry leading capabilities to continue the growth of engineering talent in Japan is incredibly exciting.  The growth of our UK / Japanese offshore wind capability enables us to continue our support to wider Japanese clients as they continue their investments into the UK offshore wind market.”

    Osamu Ohta, country manager, Japan at Mott MacDonald


    The UK has stepped up its defence cooperation with Japan. In line with this, Somerset-based helicopter manufacturer Leonardo UK in partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been contracted to provide further world-class naval helicopters and Mid Life Upgrade kits for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, in a deal worth around over £150 million in exports.

    As well as announcements from these larger established UK companies, the Prime Minister acknowledged the success of UK Start-ups and SMEs in gaining traction in the Japanese marketplace. Making particular reference to Winnow, Transreport and Oxentia.


    Founded in London in 2013 with a mission to tackle emerging concern about food waste. There is an estimated $1 trillion worth of food wasted each year. With an estimated $100bn per year of this in hospitality and catering sectors, it seemed a sensible place to start.

    Winnow’s solution is fill the data gap in recording and forecasting food waste with tech. Moving from an IoT solution in 2017, an AI-equipped system with a built-in motion-detecting camera totals food residues by foodstuff item. The system calculates disposal costs, the number of meals that can be reduced and the amount of CO2 emission.

    Firms using the Winnow technology make changes based on the terminal’s report, and users would expect to cut their costs by 3-8% and greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Winnows contract with IKEA has shown to have cut food waste by half where implemented. 

    Winnow launched in Japan in 2019 through Hilton, where they have been able to cut food waste 60%. They are currently scaling up with Hilton to operate in all their managed properties by 2024. The support Winnow receives through global clients has the benefit of bringing the technology to new international markets. As well as being picked up by other hospitality giants like IHG/ANA, they continue to expand internationally with IKEA – with up to 2 systems in each of IKEA Japan’s 12 sites. They are also a Certified B Corporation

    More on Winnow


    Transreport is the technology company behind the Passenger Assistance app, which rolled out across the entire UK Rail Network since 2021. Using this technology, passengers can book assistance, communicate their access needs, make seat reservations, and provide feedback on service levels for the journeys they make.

    With an estimated 37 million people in Japan requiring assistance when travelling, Passenger Assistance has the potential to make a significant difference to disabled and older passengers.

    Collaborating with Hankyu Railways (Hankyu Hanshin Holdings), they are expanding into supporting travel assistance for the disabled and older people in Japan.

    The partnership also highlights the trust that Japanese railway companies have in Transreport to support their rail services – Japan has almost four times as many rail stations and 15 times more rail passengers annually than the UK. There are around 2,600-2,700 rail stations in the UK while Japan has over 9,700 with the country seeing around 25 billion rail journeys annually, compared to the UK’s 1.7 billion.

     “We’re thrilled to be working with Japan’s prestigious and forward-thinking rail network and we’re proud to have been chosen by Hankyu Corporation to help transform the travel experience for millions of people. Our aim is to make travel accessible for everyone and this partnership takes us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

    Jay Shen, Founder and CEO of Transreport

    More on Transreport


    Emerging in 2017 from the technology transfer company of The University of Oxford, Oxford University Innovation, Oxentia Ltd is an innovation management consultancy providing training and support to clients throughout the world, helping them bring new ideas to life.

    Their first interaction with Japanese organizations came in the mid-2010s, when a large research-intensive conglomerate (Kawasaki) sought support in finding new technologies to help with a future strategic development.

    Oxentia have supported universities to commercialise early-stage inventions and research outputs as well as going on to support their proof-of-concept initiatives. More recently, they have run short accelerator programs supporting early-stage enterprises as well as those at the pre-incorporation stage, to refine their value propositions, towards securing investment and other support from larger established companies.

    Over the past decade, Oxentia have worked with some of the most innovative companies and institutions in Japan (including Shionogi, Daiichi Sankyo, Takeda, Ono, Honda, Mitsui Chemicals, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, NGK, and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)).

    On the day before the Prime Ministers announcement, May 17th, Oxentia were proud to announce the opening of Oxentia Japan Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxentia Ltd, providing a local base from which to build closer ties with existing clients, and establish relationships with new clients

    “We are excited about the opportunities and challenges of doing more business in Japan. Japanese companies are always looking for new ways to innovate and stay ahead of the competition, and increasingly recognise the value of collaborating with international partners to achieve their goals.”

    Steve Cleverley, CEO of Oxentia

    More on Oxentia

    Investment announcements included:

    Marubeni Corporation announcing approximately £10bn investment into the UK, including for offshore wind in Scotland and green hydrogen projects in Wales and Scotland.

    Sumitomo Corp announcing £4bn investment into offshore wind projects.

    £2bn from Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. and over £1.5bn invested by Mitsui Fudosan in affordable housing, high quality office space and a life-science laboratory in London.

    Sumitomo Electric Industries will build a strategically important high voltage cable manufacturing plant in the Scottish Highlands, bringing more than £200m investment.

    Toshiba will expand operations at their Cambridge Laboratory, which is designing advanced quantum-safe cryptographic communication solutions.

    The Prime Minister’s confirmation of the UK’s strong relationship with Japan, along with the momentum from of the UK accession to the CPTPP, and the support offered by the UK Government and Export to Japan, highlights that there is no better time than now for UK companies to consider selling and partnering with Japan.

    Green Finance and Green Transformation Subsidy Programs for Tokyo Market Entry

    Applications Now Open!

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government is accepting applications for two subsidy programs providing focused and intensive support for companies looking to enter the Tokyo Market in the fields of Green Finance and Green Transformation (GX). DEADLINE FOR ALPPLICATION is Friday 14 July

    Green Finance Subsidy Program for Tokyo Market Entry

    Asset Management companies and FinTech Companies engaged in green finance that will start operations in
    Tokyo during FY2023 are encouraged to apply for the program.

    More details and how to apply can be found in the following document:


    Subsidy for Attracting GX-related Foreign Companies to the Tokyo Market

    Foreign domiciled companies possessing advanced technologies in GX-related fields that will establish an entity within the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters during FY2023 are encouraged to apply for the program.

    More details and how to apply can be found in the following document:


    Japan’s Retail and Consumer Goods Market: Insights and Actionable Strategies for Success

    Join us for an exciting and informative webinar on the Japanese market! Whether you are new to doing business in Japan or looking to expand your existing operations, this webinar is for you.

    In the first section, we will provide you with a basic introduction to the Japanese market. You’ll learn about the unique characteristics of Japanese consumers and gain valuable insights into the business culture, including important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when conducting business in Japan.

    In the second section, we’ll dive deeper into the retail and consumer goods sector. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of the market, including key trends, challenges, and opportunities. You’ll learn about the different channels to market and get expert tips on how to succeed in this highly competitive space.

    More details of the event and speakers Here

    The UK-APAC Tech Conference@ London Tech Week

    Are you a UK tech company looking to export to the Asia Pacific Region?

    Join the Department for Business and Trade as they delve into what it takes to successfully export into APAC.

    The UK-APAC Tech Conference: Expanding into Asia-Pacific forms part of the UK Government’s programme of activities during London Tech Week. On the afternoon of 14th June, colleagues from across the Department’s network, as well as from leading corporates from the region, will be joining us to share their insights into how UK companies can successfully expand into Asia-Pacific and what the next big opportunities in the region are.

    This session will take place at Deloitte (2 New Street Square, London EC4A 3BZ) and will run from 13:00-16:00 (TBC).

    Places are limited – register now

    UK-Japan Digital Partnership – with Jana Psarska of TechUK

    The UK-Japan Digital Partnership was signed at the end of 2022.

    Steve talked to Jana Psarska earlier in the year to discuss the implication of the agreement, the priorities and collaboration in digital technologies, infrastructure and data. Jana enlightens us on the complementary strengths of the UK and Japan, the importance of commitment to like-minded partners to help drive the UK’s digital strategy and opening up opportunities for British companies.

    UK Fintech Export Day

    UK Fintech Week 2023 is taking place between 17-21 April. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is partnering with Gateley Global to deliver a special export event for UK fintechs who want to develop their international growth and expand into new markets.

    Who is this event for? 

    • UK fintech businesses who are either already exporting or looking to start exporting.

    What you can expect:

    • Understand how DBT can support your business, including drop-in sessions with DBT International Trade Advisers. 
    • Join meet-the-buyer style sessions with overseas investors.
    • Hear from Gateley Global and meet with their global growth consultants. 
    • Meet DBT’s overseas fintech market experts who will showcase the support available and export opportunities across the globe. 
    • Hear from our UK ‘Fintech Champions’.
    • Participate in reverse pitching sessions – hear from international VCs and investors looking to partner with UK fintechs.
    • Breakfast, lunch and networking opportunities.
    • Evening drinks reception. 

    More information can be found here: Grow your Fintech business overseas!

    The visit of the UK’s Trade Envoy to Japan Greg Clark

    During the third week of March (15-17th) the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Japan, Greg Clark MP, visited Japan. It coincided with a number of events across various sectors, providing him with a packed itinerary and a valuable insight into the activity, opportunities and challenges faced for UK companies in the Japanese market.

    The visit also gave Mr Clark the opportunity to highlight the importance across all sectors of tackling climate change and support the UK and Japanese transition to Net Zero. The Trade Envoy was able to help British Embassy Tokyo and Osaka consulate launch a year-long campaign to highlight efforts across all sectors.

    Defence & Security

    Greg Clark visited DSEI Japan the only large-scale, fully integrated defence event to take place in Japan. To find out more, we profiled in our recent podcast episode profiling DSEI JAPAN.

    The Trade Envoy was able to meet representatives of British companies showcasing cutting-edge defence technology. The recently agreed Global Combat Air Programme is anticipated to lead to further UK-Japan collaboration in the defence industry.

    Financial Services

    In a packed itinerary, Mr Clark went on to speak at a seminar for the UK Asset Management Mission to Japan, about ‘The Future and Prospects of the Asset Management Industry in the UK and Japan’. 

    In reaffirming his continued support for the ‘Green Innovation’ campaign being rolled out in Japan he stressed the importance of optimising the flow of funds to tackle climate issues.

    The mission brought six UK firms to Japan to discuss their approaches to asset management, promote the strength of the sector, and encourage UK-Japan partnership.

    Clean Energy

    The week also saw the WINDEX trade show, as part of World Smart Energy Week in Tokyo. DBT and Scottish Development International (SDI) brought British companies together under neighbouring pavilions. Mr Clark and Ambassador Julia Longbottom met with the companies to understand the opportunities and challenges faced in the Japanese market.

    Read our interview with one of the showcasing companies, MPS, to understand more about the partnerships helping to support the Japanese transition to Net Zero and the role the UK expertise can play.

    Mr Clark also addressed a seminar held by the Hydrogen Association of Japan to talk about UK-Japan hydrogen collaboration. Low carbon hydrogen will be vital for energy security, economic growth, and to meet the net zero commitment for both UK and Japan. Our latest podcast, Hydrogen in Japan (coming very soon!), also introduces opportunities for UK hydrogen sector to capitalise on the developing hydrogen economy in Japan.

    Floating Offshore Wind in Japan – an interview with Marine Power Systems

    Export to Japan had the opportunity to speak to Marine Power Systems (MPS) at the 2023 WIND EXPO during the World Smart Energy Week in Tokyo (14-17 March). MPS provide floating offshore wind (FOW) turbine platforms and tethering system to support offshore wind in the deeper waters that line the Japanese coast. MPS employ a hydraulic tensioning system that tethers to a minimal seabed footprint – providing a solution that is much more considerate to marine ecosystems than the other options on the market.

    We need to demonstrate that we’ve got a technology that resolves the concerns.

    Martin Carruth, Commercial Director of MPS, explained that they want to make sure they get it right and have all stakeholders supportive of the deployment of the technology. The stakeholder management process in Japan is much more complex than in the UK, and clear demonstration of how everyone is considered is essential. The multiple cooperatives, fisheries and other organisations, which all have different requirements, all need engaging. Such organisations wield sufficient influence in Japan and can potentially shut a project down.

    “We need to demonstrate that we’ve got a technology that resolves the concerns of the fisheries… turn it around to show positive benefit for local communities and their livelihoods.”

    The Japanese Tier 1 companies in the energy market understand the need to diversify into renewables to meet targets in the transition to net zero. The great potential of MPS is that the component parts can be manufactured domestically, leveraging the existing supply chain.

    “What they like about MPS is that it is modular and scalable.”  

    Given the solution offered by MPS it was relatively quick to get partners on-board. The opportunity for simple deployment using existing domestic supply chain capability can ensure they can deliver the system at scale, and at reduced costs. Martin told us that there had already been interest at WIND EXPO from fabricators and steel suppliers that can help produce components in Japan.

    What they like about MPS is that it is modular and scalable.  

    Another fundamental challenge of FOW is the accelerated wear and tear suffered under the additional movement in the water compared to fixed bottom systems. The tethering used to fix the MPS platform offers ‘zero tilt’ and is the most stable on the market. This further reduces costs at the operational stage.

    A strong local partner is critical to delivering the MPS technology in Japan. As they talk to developers, they see the value of collaborating with their Japanese partner, JGC. JGC have an established record of accomplishment and solid reputation in Japan. This provides a great degree of credibility in the offer presented by MPS.

    MPS have also seen great value from the support of the Welsh government. It has helped to identify developers and receive local representation.

    MPS work in partnership with FibreMax for the supply of the tendons for the tethering system – a Japanese company manufactures the core fibre component. It a small fact that further supports credibility when Japanese developers can see the Japanese supply chain is already involved.

    Martin gives encouragement to Japan to accelerate their offshore wind program, given international competition. Anticipating that rapid development of offshore wind capability in other regional markets (Korea, Taiwan) may prompt them to expand their support internationally, if Japan fails to build its domestic program at pace, set targets and policy to speed up deployment, the valuable injection to support the Japanese supply chain may suffer.

    In Martin’s opinion, Japan shows the most promise in the longer term in the region. MPS have prioritised investing in Japan before exploring further market opportunities in the region.

    Open Innovation – Open Network Lab

    Open Network Lab Open Innovation is now accepting the 1st Batch of applications.

    Deadline: 2023/3/31, Noon (JST) |

    Program period: Early June to Late November, 2023

    VISION: Designing our New Context

    Open Network Lab Open Innovation (hereinafter referred to as “Onlab Open Innovation”) was created with the objective of realizing new value creation through co-creation with existing industries, utilizing the experience and knowledge that Open Network Lab engaged in social implementation of startup’s technologies.

    Through co-creation with startups and key players of various industries, Digital Garage Inc. aims to implement cutting-edge technologies into society.

    Japan Success Story: Bango (Part 2)

    The technology behind every payment choice.

    The second part of Steve’s chat with Anil Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer (and co-founder) speaking from the UK, and Andy Suzuki, SVP for APAC, based in Tokyo.

    Bango’s recent acquisition of the global payment business of Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Docomo, prompted us to get in touch with Andy and Anil for a discussion on the route they have taken to build trust and establish themselves in the Japanese market. Learn about the rise of Bango, its long connection with Japan and hear Anil and Andy’s perspective on long-term relationships, persistence and investment needed to achieve success in Japan.

    Don’t forget to listen to Part 1 first: Episode 33

    Japan Success Story: Bango (Part 1)

    The technology behind every payment choice.

    Steve talks to Bango’s Anil Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer (and co-founder) speaking from the UK, and Andy Suzuki, SVP for APAC, based in Tokyo.

    Bango’s recent acquisition of the global payment business of Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Docomo, prompted us to get in touch with Andy and Anil for a discussion on the route they have taken to build trust and establish themselves in the Japanese market. Learn about the rise of Bango, its long connection with Japan and hear Anil and Andy’s perspective on long-term relationships, persistence and investment needed to achieve success in Japan.

    It was such a fruitful discussion that it has extended into two parts! Part two: Episode 34

    Sharpen Your International Edge – An opportunity to Grow in New Markets

    About the Showcase Event:

    This event is an opportunity for innovative high-growth businesses in London to find out how we can help them to grow their international presence, build connections and partnerships, and enter new markets through the Global Business Innovation Programmes.

    • Hear from expert speakers
    • Learn from like-minded entrepreneurs and case studies
    • Chat with innovation partners and IGSs
    • Develop their international web presence and grant funding opportunities

    Suitability Criteria:

    For UK registered, small and medium-sized innovative businesses (up to 500 employees) based in Greater London.

    Businesses aiming to attend this funded event should be looking to do one or more of the following:

    • Exploiting innovation to achieve growth
    • Innovating their products or services
    • Aiming to access funding and finance
    • Planning to expand into new international markets or develop international partners in the next 12 months

    Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis to the businesses that meet the criteria above.

    Only two delegates per company can attend.

    Innovate UK EDGE is part of Innovate UK, the UK innovation agency that drives economic growth. A publicly-funded service, we empower and support scalable businesses by offering one-to-one support from our innovation and growth specialists to achieve your goals, in every sector, from seed to scale. 

    Japan Success Story – Rutherford’s

    Luxury hand-stitched bridle leather bags – Made in the UK, Sold to Japan.

    How lost English traditions are revived by the Japanese market.

    Rutherford’s bags are a success story of English traditional craft and the value of quality consumer goods in the Japanese market.

    Alex Hughes has been working with a Japanese distributer for over 10 years and has great insight into the close working relationships and investments required to successfully embed into the Japanese market.

    Online reverse pitch event – Collaboration opportunities with Japanese companies

    JETRO is holding an ‘online reverse pitch event’ to promote collaboration between European start-ups and
    Japanese companies.

    Nine leading Japanese companies will do reverse pitching:

    Astellas Europe | Shionogi Europe | FUJIFILM Open Innovation Europe | Dynamic Map Platform | Venture Lab NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. | NEC | F. C.C Co., Ltd | Mitsubishi Corporation | ENEOS

    Please look through the attached document for details on the individual company pitches, times and links.

    OSAKA EXPO 2025 – UK Pavilion Construction Contracts

    His Majesty’s Government (HMG) is working on its strategy towards the architectural design and build of the UK Pavilion at Osaka, Kansai, EXPO 2025. There are several options being explored, and HMG would like to test market appetite, experience, and capabilities to inform the best strategy to deliver an outstanding pavilion, and also explore any alternative delivery options.

    The tender notice is available in full at contractsfinder.sevice.gov.uk

    This notice is of particular relevance to the construction industry:

    • Modular and portable buildings – 44211100
    • Building construction work – 45210000
    • Construction work for buildings relating to leisure, sports, culture, lodging and restaurants – 45212000
    • Pavilion construction work – 45212600
    • Architectural design services – 71220000
    • Architectural services for buildings – 71221000

    ESG is shaping Financial Services in Japan

    ESG (Environment, Social, & Governance) standards are coming to the forefront of business considerations in Japan. Now is a great time to expand your business here to help shape Japan’s future approach.


    With a record JPY ¥2,023 trillion (USD $17.02 trillion) in financial assets held by Japanese household at the end of 2021, asset managers with innovative products should be able to identify business opportunities for their companies to expand into the Japanese market. In addition, the concern for securing post-retirement savings, and the government-driven shift from savings to investment amongst the Japanese population are contributing to an upward momentum for increased levels of investment by individual investors. At the same time, the 2017 investment policy announced by the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) to focus on ESG aspects is rapidly reshaping investment approaches by institutional investors. However, some Japanese companies are still slow to adopt ESG principles, resulting in a diversion of investments overseas where the principles are more deeply embraced or embedded. This current and unique Japanese condition presents a favourable business platform for ambitious UK financial and finance-related services with ESG investment commitments on a global scale.

    This article looks at the ESG principles and investment in Japan and aims to show how the Japanese market has abundant opportunities for UK firms with ESG expertise to capitalise on.

    ESG Investment in Japan: Context

    In June 2017, GPIF published its Stewardship Principles, requiring its external asset managers to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision-making process so that long-term investment returns are secured.

    Furthermore, in the New Form of Capitalism policy that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced after taking office, a strong emphasis on having, all companies, small, medium, and large-sized, embrace ESG principles has caused a rethink within corporate Japan. His policy is aimed at remedying the current imbalanced approach through directing attention to human capital investments such as women’s empowerment and reskilling so that creativity and innovation, that can help to solve many of the social issues present in Japan and other developed markets, can continue.

    Despite of the huge amount of attention, there is no single list of ESG goals or examples, and the concepts often overlap. That said, each component can be vaguely described. The E (Environment) is about issues regarding the quality and functioning of the natural environment and system. The S (Social) includes areas such as diversity and inclusion to the treatment of their workforce, customers, suppliers, communities, and shareholders at large. The G (Governance) concerns with the entire structure and management of companies from top to bottom. For this, ESG is generally understood as a set of factors that measure the non-financial impacts of particular investments and companies that helps to discover business and investment opportunities.

    With GPIF, the biggest pension fund in the world with USD $1,719 billion worth assets under its management, its approach to this set of principles plays an influential role in shaping the investment environment in Japan. The Japanese market subject to these principles maintains JPY ¥825 trillion held by Japanese asset management companies, the annual rate at which the market has been growing in the past decade is around 10%. The Japanese market is forecast to grow further partially thanks to the two factors mentioned earlier.

    ESG Investment in Japan: Where things stand

    The Japanese market has already been recognised as the most ESG conscious market in the APAC region even before the GPIF announcement and one might naturally be induced to wonder how foreign firms could come into Japan and start doing business from scratch.

    Two conditions seem worth noting. A Stable and Promising Future and Lagged Behind Elements.

    A Stable and Promising Future

    Japan boasts the 3rd biggest economy in the world and offers a stable and promising investment environment. The country is categorised as highly politically stable and its government’s use of ESG investment as a means to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and advance Kishida’s policy looks to last for many years to come. Coincidental to this is increased interest in investing due to the concerns of a dearth of post-retirement savings, and the government-led shift from savings to investments. Investment interest from individuals across the country whose overall households’ financial assets exceeds JPY ¥2,023 trillion (USD $17.02 trillion) is likely to push the demand for some Government-led investment schemes such as NISA (Nippon Individual Savings Account) and iDeCo (individual-type Defined Contribution pension plan), which would inevitably lead to more active asset management business. At the same time, the so-called “Five Whales” of the five biggest Japanese pension funds with a combined asset under management of JPY ¥812 trillion will likely follow suit on the ESG path set by GPIF, which presents huge potential for foreign asset management companies.

    Lagged Behind Elements

    Given the stable investment ground for the long-term, GPIF’s specific focus on ESG investments will likely help lower the bar for foreign firms with global ESG investment expertise to enter into the Japanese market. As the ESG aspects of Japanese companies are scrutinised, one would notice that some elements are evidently absent because Japanese companies tend to focus more on the E (Environment) aspect. For the S (Social) and G (Governance) aspects, more work is needed. Because Japanese companies rely heavily on human capital, its shrinking and ageing population poses a huge challenge. Gender equality and diversity across the workforce, and structures of boards and group companies in Japan are said to lag behind global counterparts. Underlying issues are now slowly being addressed and the shift is boosted by the GPIF announcement and Kishida’s policy. This creates new opportunities for foreign financial and finance-related firms with a global ESG investment view to come into the Japanese market and demonstrate their expertise and influence.


    Cremers, V., Grundin, G., Yamada, Y., Goerg, M., and Nuttall, R. (2021). Charting a path from the shuchu kiyasu to ESG for Japanese companies. McKinsey & Company. Available on: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/sustainability/our-insights/charting-a-path-from-the-shuchu-kiyaku-to-esg-for-japanese-companies 

    Cremers, V., Grundin, G., Yamada, Y., Goerg, M., and Nuttall, R. (2021). ESG経営から育む価値創造の5つの方向性:企業は、ESG(環境、社会、ガバナンス)に関して適切な訴求力を持つことで、高い価値を創出することができる。その理由とは?. McKinsey & Company. Available on: https://www.mckinsey.com/jp/~/media/McKinsey/Locations/Asia/Japan/Our%20Insights/FiveWaysESGCreatesValue/Five-ways-that-ESG-creates-value-JP.pdf

    Bergman, M.S., Deckelbaum, A.J., & Karp, B.S. (2020). Introduction to ESG. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. Available on: https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2020/08/01/introduction-to-esg/ 

    Deloitte Touche Tohomatsu Limited. (2021). Article #1 What is ESG? – ESG Explained: Article series exploring ESG from the very basics. Available on: https://www2.deloitte.com/ce/en/pages/global-business-services/articles/esg-explained-1-what-is-esg.html 

    Intercontinental Exchange, inc. (2021). ESG Trends in Japan. Available on: https://www.ice.com/insights/market-pulse/esg-trends-in-japan 

    Japan Exchange Group, (2022). ESG Investment. Available on: https://www.jpx.co.jp/english/corporate/sustainability/esg-investment/index.html 

    Lewis, L. (2021). Fumio Kishida maps out a ‘new capitalism’ for corporate Japan.: Prime minister wants to make his name as a friend of the pandemic-hit small business sector. Financial Times. Available on: https://www.ft.com/content/8a0224fd-f974-4ad2-bf83-695450e16694

    Lewis, L. (2021). There’s a bad smell to Japan’s corporate governance reform.: Sharp local proverb captures sense of tokenism and old mores resisting change. Financial Times. Available on: https://www.ft.com/content/cc22ff2e-61af-402f-8605-086b02815692

    Nikkei. (2022). “ESG Investment Survey 2021” on Institutional Investors in Japan. Available on: https://www.nikkei.co.jp/nikkeiinfo/en/global_services/quick/esg-investment-survey-2021-on-institutional-investors-in-japan.html

    Runacres, D. (2021). Why is Japan embracing ESG investing?. Available on: https://www.refinitiv.com/perspectives/future-of-investing-trading/why-is-japan-embracing-esg-investing/ 

    SMBC Nikko. (2015). 日本株市場を泳ぐ「5頭のクジラ」. Available on: https://www.smbcnikko.co.jp/service/mailmagazine/1501/assist/150717_03.pdf

    SDG Impact Japan. (2022). ESG IN JAPAN: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Available on: https://sdgimpactjapan.com/whitepaper202209/#:~:text=ESG%20Investments%20by%20Japanese%20Financial%20Institutions%3A%20Japanese%20financial,percent%20of%20total%20managed%20assets%20in%20the%20country

    The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. (2017). ESG Investing in Japan: Fad or fact?. Available on: https://bccjapan.com/news/esg-investing-in-japan-fad-or-fact/

    World Economic Forum. (2022). Prime Minster Kishida of Japan Outlines Vision for a New Form of Capitalism. Available on: https://www.weforum.org/press/2022/01/prime-minister-kishida-of-japan-outlines-vision-for-a-new-form-of-capitalism#:~:text=Kishida%20also%20laid%20out%20plans%20for%20increased%20corporate,of%20medium%20to%20long-term%20corporate%20value%2C%E2%80%9D%20he%20said

    キャリタス就活, (2020). 世界一の“クジラ”と呼ばれるGPIF. Available on: https://job.career-tasu.jp/finance/articles/203/       

    DSEI JAPAN: Defence and Security Market Opportunities – With Gary Waterfall

    Steve catches up with Gary Waterfall, Senior Defence Advisor to Clarion Defence & Security (not to mention a packed military career retiring as Air Vice Marshall, including being part of The Red Arrows!).

    DSEI JAPAN 2023 comes after the recent reciprocal access agreement between UK and Japan, and the landmark GCAP (Global Combat Air Program) – the trilateral agreement (along with Italy) to work together on the next generation combat aircraft for cutting edge air defence.

    Gary and Steve discuss DSEI and explore what opportunities the UK-Japan agreements open up for companies across the whole supply chain.

    A Practical Guide To Japan

    Download our in-depth practical guide to Japan so you can prepare for your upcoming business trip without the stress.

    Getting Around Japan Gets a Whole Lot Easier with our Handy Guide

    Going on a business trip or trade mission to Japan requires plenty of organisation and research, and may seem daunting, especially if it is your first time to visit the country.

    This guide gives you all the practical, up-to-date information you will need to take the stress out of that preparation, covering topics such as:

    • Introduction
    • Accommodation
    • Getting Around
    • Wi-Fi and Using Your Phone in Japan
    • Money
    • Business Etiquette
    • Interpreters and Translators
    • Shopping
    • Food and Drink
    • Health and Safety Aspects/Emergencies
    • Other Useful Information
    • Japanese Language
    • Useful Phrases for Business

    The report also refers to relevant websites and apps, and offers a number of useful tips on navigating areas that may cause potential misunderstandings. Armed with this knowledge, you can enjoy a relaxing and successful business trip.

    Send us your enquiry to find out if your business is a good fit for the Japanese market.

    City-Tech Tokyo

    • Creating with start-ups through open innovation: from Tokyo to the world.

    City-Tech.Tokyo is the first global event for startups led by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as the first step in its the first step in its SusHi Tech Tokyo initiative to support startups’ challenge to create a sustainable society.
    The event will also promote Tokyo’s new startup strategy, “Global Innovation with STARTUPS,” announced on November 24, with the aim of realizing Tokyo as “the world’s number one startup city,” one of the visions for 2040 set forth in the “Future Tokyo Strategy,” the comprehensive plan of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

    New Growth for Tokyo and Japan
    Transforming Tokyo into a city where many startups working on a global scale will be created, leading to new growth and employment. For the future of industry

    Realization of a sustainable “Future Tokyo”
    Inducing open innovation with startups to create a bright future for Tokyo. For the future of the future of the Tokyo residents.

    Resolution of global urban issues
    Tokyo, one of the world’s largest cities, will provide the world with solutions to the challenges faced by cities around the world. For the future of the world.


    • Keynote speech (with world renowned figures)
    • Panel sessions (20 sessions with Panel sessions (20 sessions with startups, large companies, investors, experts)
    • Pitch event (with domestic/international startups, Contest style)
    • Exhibition booths (providing a place for cities, startups, major companies, and other participants to become acquainted with each other)
    • Business meetings’

    More details on City-Tech.Tokyo and the program are found in this document or the City-Tech.Tokyo website.

    Please join us and use it for your marketing, business negotiations, and networking among participants.

    Please access the registration form and use the promotional code below to join the event for free. (Sign up/Log in to Export to Japan to view the code)

    Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo: The City of Tokyo as a Financial and Tourist Centre


    The Japan Society welcome Ms Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, in London next month. She’ll share her vision for Tokyo’s continued development as a global city, with focus on Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s strategies for Tokyo as a world-leading international financial centre, as well as sharing its attractions as a destination for inbound tourism.  

    Following initial remarks by Governor Koike, she will join Japan Society chair Bill Emmott in conversation, during which she looks forward to taking questions on a wide range of issues from a Japan Society audience. The event is also open to non-members and booking is essential via the link provided.

    Yuriko Koike has been Governor of Tokyo since July 2016. In July 2020, she was re-elected to a second term of office. Prior to being elected to this post, she was active in national politics. She was a member of the House of Councillors and then the House of Representatives for a total of 24 years from 1992, during which time she held major posts including Minister of the Environment, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs (2004-2006), Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for National Security Affairs (2006-2007), Minister of Defense (2007-2010), and Director of the Committee on Budget of the House of Representatives (2011). She is the first woman to serve as the Minister of Defense in Japan and the Governor of Tokyo.

    The Japan Society is the leading independent body in the United Kingdom dedicated to the enhancement of the British-Japanese relationship. With a history stretching back to 1891, its members are committed to promoting deep and lasting understanding between our two countries.

    Marketing in Japan with Nanako Aramaki of Tamlo

    Nanako Aramaki, Chief Localisation Officer, from the Tokyo/London content marketing agency Tamlo, joins Steve in a chat that covers the specific considerations for digital content in Japan. Copying and pasting your global campaign won’t cut it! Localisation is the key. We also cover social media in Japan, the rise of influencer marketing, and the high value Japanese audiences place on trust. Enjoy Nanako’s fresh perspective!

    JSAE 2023 – UK Pavilion

    Calling UK Tech companies in the automotive sector!

    The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is organising the UK pavilion at this year’s JSAE (Japan Society of Automotive Engineers Exhibition and Congress).

    JSAE is the leading automotive engineering show in Asia, and a key showcase event for automotive technologies in Asia. JSAE 2023 will be held in Yokohama, Japan from 24-26 May 2023.

    APC are working in cooperation with BEIS and DIT on the UK Pavilion. If you are a UK Tech Company providing solutions or products in the automotive space, then please take a look at the details and register your interest.

    Joining on the UK ‘GREAT’ Pavilion is an excellent way to expand business in the Asian automotive sector with multiple networking opportunities and increase of brand awareness. The Pavilion provides the perfect alternative to an independent space. In addition to the cost savings, all logistics for the stand will be taken care of on your behalf all you need to do is submit the details for your graphic panels. The APC and Embassy staff will be there to support throughout the show.

    The attached document includes details on the offer for participants, costs etc.

    Private Equity in Japan

    Webinar – Market Expansion Series

    New Business Opportunities in Japan for Overseas Asset Managers 2023

    Part 6 – Private Equity in Japan.

    Tricor, in collaboration with the FSA, are continuing their series of Webinars with a session on Private Equity in Japan.

    The session takes place on 30 January 2023 at 4pm JST via Zoom. Please register via the link provided.

    Speakers are:

    Hideo Nagura – Partner, Corporate Finance, PwC Advisory LLC

    Satoshi Matsunaga – Partner, Financial Services, PwC Tax Japan

    Stuart Porter – Partner, Financial Services, PwC Tax Japan

    Keiko Shimizu – Partner, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

    Tapping into the asset management market in Japan

    presented by FinCity.Tokyo with kind support by The Investment Association

    Asset management is a focus area of Tokyo’s strategy with its ability to channel Japan’s financial assets into solving societal challenges such as decarbonization, disruption of supply chain and an aging demography as well as generating financial returns. Both the national and Tokyo governments have strengthened their support to overseas asset managers in order to develop a more diverse asset management landscape. FinCity.Tokyo is a public-private organization established in April 2019 with the purpose to promote Tokyo as a global financial hub.

    The Department for International Trade (DIT) is planning to bring a trade delegation to Tokyo in March to support asset managers wishing to develop business in Japan. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the market and start planning how to make your entry. We very much look forward to meeting you.

    15:30-15:35 Opening remarks and housekeeping by Jack Knight, Deputy Chief Executive, The Investment Association

    15:35-16:00 Opportunities in the Japanese Asset Management Market, Tomoko Kenny, Vice President, Brown Brothers Harriman

    16:00-16:30 Support to accelerate your entry into Japan, Hideki Takada, Director of Strategy Development Division, Financial Services Agency, Gauri Gupta, Department for International Trade, Naomi Takegoshi, FinCity.Tokyo and others (tbc)
    • Invest Tokyo programme
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Government grants
    • Financial Market Entry Office (Financial Services Agency)
    • Department for International Trade (UK)

    16:30-16:50 Running a financial services business in Japan by Laurent Depus, FinCity.Tokyo Ambassador

    16:50‐17:15 Q&A and discussion

    17:15-18:00 Networking over drinks

    Please register by 27th January. The seating capacity is 30 and seats will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.


    Laurent Depus, FinCity.Tokyo Ambassador

    Laurent Depus began his banking career in 1987 at The Chase Manhattan Bank in Luxembourg before moving to Tokyo in 1988 and London in 1995.

    He returned to Japan to join Societe Generale in 2001 and served in various roles, including COO of Corporate Investment Banking Japan, President & CEO of Societe Generale Securities North Pacific Japan, President & CEO of Societe Generale Private Banking Japan Ltd. and Chief Country Officer, Societe Generale Group Japan.

    In 2013, he joined SMBC Trust Bank as Chairman and Director upon the acquisition by SMBC of the Societe Generale Trust Banking license. He has served as a Director of the Board at SMBC Trust Bank since its establishment. From late 2014 until October 2021, he served as Natixis Senior Country Manager for Japan, President & Representative Director of Natixis Japan Securities Co., Ltd. and member of the Executive Committee of Natixis CIB Asia Pacific. He is the Representative Director of Escapade Japan Co. Ltd. supporting financial institutions on governance and organizational matters.

    Gauri Gupta, Sector Lead, Asset Management,
    Department for International Trade (DIT)

    Gauri Gupta is responsible for promoting the UK as a global investment management centre, driving inward investment and export through focused engagement with asset managers, asset owners, and investors, and partnering across the UK Government and overseas on conferences, events, and Ministerial engagement with the industry, regulators, and trade associations.

    Previously, Gauri co-led the EMEA Client Services team for Aladdin at BlackRock UK. Prior tothis, she held various roles in Retail Banking at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and in Asset Servicing Global Custody at RBC Investor &Treasury Services. Gauri has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and Strategy from Bayes Business School, City University, London.

    Tomoko Kenny, Vice President, Asset Managers,
    Cross Border Fund Services, Investor Services, Brown
    Brothers Harriman

    Tomoko Kenny is responsible for Japanese business engagement in Europe. She has extensive experience in financial product launches and strategic marketing and distribution, across APAC and Europe. She joined BBH in April 2016 from AXA Investment Managers in the UK, where she was Client and Product Director responsible for fixed income, equities, and alternative investment funds, and bespoke product offerings.

    Prior to that, she worked for various multi-national financial firms, such as Barclays Wealth UK, and Goldman Sachs UK.She holds an MBA from Imperial College, London, a Bachelor of Law in Japan, and a Chartered Marketer status from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

    Naomi Takegoshi, Relationship Manager,

    Naomi Takegoshi joined JIAM in May 2019 and FinCity.Tokyo in October 2019 after a 25-year long career at the British Embassy in Tokyo in supporting UK companies develop their business in Japan in a wide range of industries (consumer goods, financial services, business services, tech etc) with an aspiration to bring her experiences to contribute to the internationalization of Tokyo.

    In her work to promote UK financial services and fintech in Japan, she built an extensive network of contacts both in Japan and in the UK. Prior to her career at the UK Embassy, she worked as a Researcher for the think tank division of MKI (Mitsui Knowledge Industry), BA Economics, Keio University.

    Emma Wegoda, Head of Asia Pacific and Asset Management
    The City of London Corporation

    Emma Wegoda is Head of Asia Pacific and Asset Management in the Innovation & Growth Department at The City of London Corporation

    Emma has worked at the City of London Corporation for 3 years where she leads the work in the Asia Pacific Region with a particular focus on Japan. Emma is also the lead for the Global Investment Futures (GIF) initiative. GIF is a three-year initiative to promote internationally the expertise of the UK’s investment management industry and to show the value to investors of operating from the UK and providing mandates to UK-based managers. Emma previously spent 6 years in HM Government both in the Department for International Trade and the former Department for Business. Her roles there were Head of Investor Relations for Asia Pacific attracting investment into infrastructure and energy projects and Senior Project Manager in the Financial Services Team leading on the Asset Management sector. Having been posted to New York to spend 6 months with the financial Services Team at the British Consulate Emma was also the US market lead. During her time in Government Emma also spent some time working in Singapore and Australia.

    Prior to joining Government, Emma spent the earlier part of her career as a Chief of Staff in Parliament to a former Minister and Prime Ministerial Envoy.

    Japan Success Story: Q-Games (Part 2)

    Join Steve for the second half of his conversation with Dylan and Hollie.

    Hollie compares marketing and PR in the digital sector in the UK and Japan. Dylan provides more insight into his journey from being a 17-year-old working for a cutting-edge development studio in the UK, being brought on the back of a hacked Gameboy to work for Nintendo, a stint in California before eventually setting up his own studio in Kyoto, working on projects for Nintendo, Sony and Google.

    Hollie has insight into the world of digital publishing, particularly for indie games developers. She tells us what drew her to Japan, how she is finding the working environment and getting used to cycling in and around the city.

    If you missed part 1, best check that out first! https://exporttojapan.co.uk/japan-success-story-q-games-part-1/

    Japan Success Story: Q-Games (Part 1)

    How a 17-year-old British programmer brought to Japan by Nintendo went on to found one of the most successful independent games development studios in Japan! Steve talks with Dylan Cuthbert and Hollie Hughes of Q-Games. They cover a wide array of insight, including getting to know Japan, the games developing and digital industry, setting up business in Kyoto, and the amazing journey Dylan has taken into Japan. Part 1 of a 2-part conversation!

    Go to part 2: https://exporttojapan.co.uk/japan-success-story-q-games-part-2/

    UK Asset Management Mission to Japan, 2023 

    Japanese households hold over ¥2,000 trillion in personal financial assets, of which 50% is in cash and deposits, and a further 30% is in insurance and pension products.  It is home to the second highest population of high net-worth individuals in the world, and its pension funds manage over ¥340 trillion with an increasing interest in international and alternative investments.  With rising concerns around the ability of Japan’s aging population to have enough personal savings for retirement, the Japanese government is stepping up its encouragement for individuals to shift away from traditional saving methods in favour of a focus on building investments.  This is the backdrop to Japan’s attempt to re-establish itself as an international financial centre, with a particular focus on asset management. 

    To capitalise on this opportunity, the Department for International Trade (DIT) Japan will host a UK Asset Management Mission to Japan in March 2023.  The mission will enable 6 UK firms to learn and explore more about Japan’s financial market and the scale of opportunity.  It will also allow them to meet and present to key stakeholders in Japan’s financial services sector.  The mission will include a briefing session from key financial services individuals, participation in the UK Asset Management seminar, and a networking reception with members from Japanese government, business and multiplier associations keen to hear from and work with UK asset management firms.  There will also be the opportunity to set up 1-to-1 meetings with newly met stakeholders and contacts to share information for potential future business. 

    The mission forms part of the Global Investment Futures (GIF) campaign, a three year campaign launched in February 2022 by DIT, the City of London Corporation and the Investment Association, with the aim of promoting the UK’s strengths in asset management and financial services.  

    If you are interested in attending this mission, please submit your application via the link below 22 January 2023.  Mission participation will be limited to six UK firms.  If the mission is oversubscribed there will be a selection process and applicants will be advised by 17th January.* 


    15th – 16th March, 2023 


    British Embassy Tokyo 

    Participation Fee:  

    £ 495 

    Registration: Is now closed

    Application Deadline:  

    22 January, 2023 


    • UK Asset Management Firms 
    • Interest in Japanese market
    • No presence yet in the Japanese market 


    Dates: 15th and 16th March, 2023  

    Day1: 1:00pm – 4:30pm, Market and Opportunity Briefing (TBC) 

    Day2: 3:00pm – 7:00pm: UK Asset Management Seminar and Financial Services Reception 

    Number of participants: 6 firms, with a maximum of x2 representatives per provider  


    13 – 17 March 2023, Tokyo

    Join the UK Pavilion at WIND EXPO JAPAN 2023: Japan’s largest Wind Energy Trade show.
    As a well-established business platform of the latest technologies, information, and
    people, the show contributes to the development of the wind energy industry.
    WIND EXPO gathers a wide range of technologies for wind power generation including
    wind turbines to wind farm construction, maintenance and operation, and offshore wind
    technologies, etc. The event is aimed at companies looking to develop new business
    opportunities, gain technical insights and consultations as well as building and
    strengthening early business relationships.

    Please read the flyer/application UK Offshore Wind Trade Mission to Japan 2023 Application

    Travel restrictions lifted – Japan is open for business

    Making the most of CEPA

    Darren Goff explains how Japan has resumed welcoming all visitors!  The DIT regional Director of Trade and Investment, based at the British Embassy in Tokyo, is keen to emphasise the renewed opportunity for UK businesses to come and engage directly with connections in Japan.

    October 2022 – Darren Goff, Director of Trade and Investment Japan, speaks to us from DIT Tokyo

    It has been two years since Japan and the UK signed a significant Free Trade Agreement, the CEPA – or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The benefits of the agreement target a range of sectors, from manufacturing and agriculture to financial services, digital and data.

    Unfortunately, the agreement was signed during the pandemic, and businesses have not been able to fully capitalise on these benefits. Since 11th October 2022, the border restrictions established to control the spread of COVID have been removed. The opening up of Japan’s borders is the first time since signing the agreement, UK companies can fully engage with the Japanese market.

    Japan is once again open for business, and there has never been a better time to come and explore that opportunity. The team at the Department for International Trade in Japan and the UK stand ready to support your business success in the Japanese market.

    Showcasing direct to the market

    For the vast majority of businesses, trade shows and trade missions, including pitching events direct to the Japanese audience remain an integral component of reaching out and engaging with new market.

    The Innovate UK supported mission to Japan brought battery technology innovators together, the feedback from those British companies that made the trip really demonstrates the value of direct engagement with potential partners and collaborators.

    We also caught up with Andy of GCT (Global Connector Technology), a leading PCB connector & cable assembly manufacturer, as he joined the UK pavilion at the tech trade show CEATEC. At one of the most important tech events in the global tech calendar, GCT were one of 8 carefully selected UK companies showcased at the UK pavilion this year. They were joined by Parkopedia, What3words, Zerolight, Tractable, Imagination Technologies, Chromacity and Blue Prism. At CEATEC big names and innovative new ventures from Japan sit shoulder to shoulder with a wide array of international cutting edge digital and tech initiatives.

    Business travel resumes

    It’s ok having the border restrictions lifted, but you have to get to Japan. British Airways paused their daily trips to Japan during the pandemic, but have now resumed a direct service this autumn.

    If you’re visiting for the first time, we have resources to guide you through the wonderful cultural differences you will face and the practicalities of visiting and doing business in Japan.

    Practical Guide To Japan

    Step by Step Guides

    Osaka Expo 2025 – call for suppliers

    The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition is compiling a list of various agencies to provide services in relation to the pavilions of Official Participants (foreign governments and international organisations that have accepted the official invitation to participate in the Expo) and calls for applications from agencies wishing to be included in the list. 

    Please follow this link and read carefully before registering:

    Notice on Call for Suppliers to be Referred by Official Participants | Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (expo2025.or.jp)

    DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Monday 28 November!

    The Association is looking for suppliers covering the following fields:

    • Architecture and engineering
    • Landscaping and gardening
    • Exhibit decoration
    • Guides/interpreters and other personnel dispatch service
    • Publicity (web/pamphlet design and other services)
    • Furniture and household appliances rental services
    • Vehicle-related services (car rental, vehicles with drivers, chartered buses)
    • Security services (the agency must be able to provide safeguarding services both of Manned Guading and Machine Guarding in Official Participants’ Exhibition Spaces. As for the machine guarding, the agency must be able to dispatch its security officers to the Expo Site on the immediate response basis.*)
    • The immediate response means that the security officers are able to reach the Expo Site within 25 minutes from their security guards’ standby stations
    • Food safety inspection (examination institution to provide services where food is involved within Official Participants’ Exhibition Spaces)
    • Building maintenance services (maintenance service agency capable of providing comprehensive services, including the cleaning and maintenance of equipment and apparatus, pest control, and other services required for maintaining good levels of hygiene)

    The 48th FOODEX JAPAN 2023

    FOODEX Japan is the largest international food and beverages show in Japan dating back 45 years. It attracts not only Japanese buyers but also buyers from across the Asia Pacific region.  Foodex Japan is considered as the gateway to showcase new products to Asian markets.  For FOODEX Japan 2023 the venue moves to the “Tokyo Big Sight” exhibition centre, which is closer to central Tokyo and Haneda Airport, and is expected to attract even more visitors to the show.

    Date: March 7 (Tue) – 11 (Fri) 2023

    Time: 10am – 5pm (4pm on the last day)

    Venue: Tokyo Big Sight https://www.bigsight.jp/english/

    Organized by: Japan Management Association and four other hospitality and food services industry associations.

    Show portfolios:

     No of exhibitorsShow size (m²)No of total visitorsNo of overseas visitors
    2022148514,20533,726N/A (Japan had borders restrictions)
    2023 expectation235066,140tbctbc

    Opportunities for UK companies to exhibit with DIT at the UK Pavilion at FOODEX Japan 2023!

    • The DIT stand will focus on two categories – English Sparkling Wine and cheese.  If you are involved in the manufacture or supply of either of these products, and are interested in joining the DIT stand, please contact info@exporttojapan.co.uk 

    Participation cost of £1,000 (+VAT) will include the following:

    – 2m² of showcase space

    – showcase equipment (table, storage, fridge, etc)

    – Access to an interpreter (to be shared by other exhibitors)

    – Meet-the-Buyers networking reception at the Ambassador’s Residence of the British Embassy Tokyo

    Further information on the event can be found at the FOODEX website:

    FOODEX JAPAN 2023 “The 48th International Food and Beverage Exhibition (jma.or.jp)

    Read about last year’s event in our FOODEX 2022 Report

    Shifting Supply Chains and its Impact on the Indo-Pacific Business Landscape

    The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is pleased to be collaborating with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) to bring you a hybrid panel discussion breakfast event on Thursday, November 17 at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.

    Even before the world was faced with the pandemic, fundamental factors such as decarbonisation and the trade war initiated by former US President Trump against China and Europe were already key disruptions to global supply chains. The Covid-19 crisis only added to the existing geopolitical, labour and ecoclimate issues, bringing the disruption on supply chains to a whole new level, frequently resulting in an interruption of goods and services across the world. Followed by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and the subsequent sanctions against Russia, this then added a further dimension to the ongoing disruption. Although signs are now pointing to a better year in general for supply chains in 2023, we must remain cautious of the other potential new threats, such as a potential conflict involving Taiwan.

    Join us on November 17 to deepen your understanding of what it is that’s driving supply chains today and the key challenges facing them, and learn how other business leaders are trying to cope with the ever-shifting state of global supply chains. Our cross-industry panel will discuss and share insights into how the recent changes in supply chains are impacting trade, production, distribution and consumption of goods in the region, what direction this might take in the months and year to come, and most importantly, what this will mean for your business.

    Moderated by Stephen Nagy, Senior Associate Professor at International Christian University and a Governor at CCCJ, panellists will include Yukinori Mizumoto, Chief Procurement Officer at Nitto Denko, Dr Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead on Trade and Economic Policy at Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, and Takuji Okubo, Managing Director at Japan Macro Advisors.

    More details about the speakers, as well as booking and reservation information can be found at the BCCJ website: Shifting Supply Chains and its Impact on the Indo-Pacific Business Landscape – British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Japan Smart Cities Report

    Created by Cambridge Consultants in partnership with British Embassy Tokyo

    In March 2022 the Department for International Trade Tokyo (DIT) commissioned Cambridge Consultants to produce a report on the state of Smart Cities in Japan.

    The aim of this work is to provide an overview of the current and future status of Smart Cities in Japan and the related application and technology trends, to identify potential opportunities for trade, investment and R&D between UK and Japan.

    This is to enable DIT to better connect British companies to key domestic players so that British companies can join and play an important role in the development of Japan’s Smart Cities.

    To access the report we ask that you first complete this short survey:

    The Export Shed

    Leveraging the benefits of the Japan Free Trade Agreement – A Panel Discussion
    2nd November 2022 – 10:00am – 11:00am

    Part workshop, part discussion forum, The Export Shed is a place to gather, learn and exchange export-related ideas.

    In this session, we will be turning our attention to Japan, two years on from the historic signing of the UK-CEPA Free Trade Agreement, and with an eye on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific
    Partnership (CPTPP).

    You will hear from our of panel of Japan export experts, including Jonathon Jones of Tregothnan Estate & Tea in Cornwall and Christian Wenczka of Kwikbolt, both of whom are DIT ‘Export Champions’; along with Japan experts from Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, Steve Crane OBE from Export2Japan and the Department for International Trade, all of whom will share their experiences, insights and advice on how best to leverage the opportunities that Japan presents to UK companies.

    Also on hand will be Market Leaders, Barbara Hollyhead and Ameeta Virk, International Research Manager Kerry Stagg and International Digital Advisor Nigel Barker.

    As any regulars to The Export Shed will know, there will be opportunities to ask questions and share your own experiences too.

    If you follow the registration link you will then be able to click and choose to register for a variety of sessions, including this one.

    NEC Innovation Challenge

    The Japanese IT and electronics giant, NEC, are launching an Open Innovation competition called ‘Agorize’.

    The deadline for applications for international SMEs is 4th December 2022.

    NEC are accepting applications on three key themes:  

    • Healthcare – AI for Vision, AI for personalized medicine, hospital management, high performance computational models
    • Metaverse – AR/VR for communication, smart avatars, ID authentication
    • Carbon Neutral – smart transport and logistics, smart agriculture, smart manufacturing/supply chain (including digital twins)

    More information can be found at the application site: Here

    For a comprehensive list of trade shows in Japan please check JETRO's 'Online Trade Fairs Database' and the schedule compiled by RX Japan.