Boris Johnson to help launch flagship Burberry store in Japan
Boris Johnson will dip into the fashion world when he helps to launch a flagship store of one of Britain's biggest clothing brands during a visit to Japan.
London's mayor is also pushing for British companies to secure a share of £10 billion worth of contracts in the run-up to the Japanese Olympics and Rugby World Cup during the trade mission.
Mr Johnson will kick off the three-day mission championing UK businesses at a major trading fair in Osaka, one of the nation's largest commercial cities.
He said: "This is the third biggest economy in the world. It's one of our most important trading partners. Since the early 1980s it has been a massive investor in London. We are seeing more of it now and we want to encourage that."
After a visit to the prestigious Hankyu department store in Osaka on the final day of the annual British trade fair, Mr Johnson will visit Toyota's headquarters to test drive one of its most advanced cars.
The mayor will later head to Tokyo to launch the new store of British fashion brand Burberry in the Shinjuku neighbourhood.
Mr Johnson wants to capitalise on the success of the 2012 London Games to promote British businesses at a "crucial moment" in the Japanese procurement process for its stint as a host nation.
"Tokyo has got the Olympics in just five years' time, they have got the Rugby World Cup in four years' time," he said. "This is a crucial moment for them in their procurement. They have got £10 billion worth of contracts going out.
"We think that British companies ought to be trying to compete, ought to be offering their services there."
Mr Johnson went on a walkabout in the bustling Dotonbori area of Osaka when he arrived in the city, stopping to learn how to cook octopus balls before trying one of the local delicacies.
His appearance caused a stir in the busy neon-lit streets, with some locals recognising the mayor and stopping him for selfies.
Science and motoring will also be top priorities for the mayor as he holds talks in Tokyo and Yokohama in the coming days.