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Boris Johnson 'bangs drum for London' on Japan trade trip

Boris Johnson is heading to Japan on a three-day trade mission to "bang the drum" for London.

Science, fashion and motoring will dominate the agenda as the capital's mayor tours Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama to forge links with Japanese politicians, business leaders and investors.

London's expertise as a sporting city will also be at the core of the visit as Japan, the world's third largest economy, prepares to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

Mr Johnson said: "Japan is one of the world's most important economic powerhouses with enormous potential for stronger partnerships with the capital. We have plenty of knowledge and expertise to share across many important sectors, including hosting major world sporting events.

"This is our chance to loudly bang the drum for London, strengthen our ties with Japan and secure the long standing relationships we need to create an abundance of opportunities for Londoners and the people of Japan to work more closely and collaboratively in the future."

Mr Johnson, alongside London legacy delivery corporation chief executive David Goldstone, will share expertise gleaned from staging the 2012 Olympics as Japan gears up for its stint as the host nation for the 2020 Games as well as the Rugby World Cup.

During talks with Olympics minister Toshiaki Endo and Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe, the mayor will also discuss the investment opportunities the major sporting events could create.

The visit - which begins on Tuesday - will also include meetings to bolster technological trade ties with Japan, which was the fourth largest investor in London last year, including in financial technology, such as contactless payment systems, and biosciences.

Mr Johnson, who will also be accompanied by academics from the MedCity biosciences organisation, will seek to raise the profile of London's expertise in the sector in a speech at BioJapan, the largest biotechnology event in Asia, during a visit to Yokohama.

Joining up with a business delegation of the capital's leading bio-science companies, he will highlight pioneering work in cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine.

The mayor will also turn his attention to London's global reputation for fashion as he promotes major British export brands, such as Burberry, in a visit to leading store Hankyu during a tour of Osaka.

London is introducing the world's first ultra-low emission zone in 2020 and the Conservative MP will also visit car manufacturers Toyota and Mitsubishi to discuss greener transport.


From Belfast Telegraph