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