Manchester marked 150 years of diplomatic and business relations between the UK and Japan with an evening reception on Wednesday 28th October.
The event forms part of the Japan-UK 150 series of events between August 2008 and December 2009 to mark the anniversary of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1858.
Minister Hiroshi Oka, Minister for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Japan, traveled to Manchester to attend and speak at the event alongside the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Andrew Clare from Napthens Solicitors. Delegates were also be welcomed by Peter Heginbotham, Honorary Consul for Japan in Manchester.
The event reflects the strength of business and investment links between Japan and Manchester City Region, with a number of senior representatives from Manchester’s Japanese business community in attendance.
Manchester is now home to nearly 40 Japanese-owned companies who are continuing to grow and prosper within the city region. Funding partner Finnair has been flying to Japan from Europe for over a quarter of a century and has seen demand for flights to Japanese destinations increase. Japanese cities Finnair fly to include Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
Councillor Val Stevens, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “We are delighted to be celebrating this event in Manchester and hope that our business and investment links between Japan and our city region will go from strength to strength.”
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive at MIDAS, said: “MIDAS are delighted to support this landmark event celebrating the important links between Manchester, the UK and Japan. The continued investment that Manchester has seen from Japanese firms, supplying cutting-edge innovations, has undoubtedly been instrumental to the growth of Manchester’s knowledge-based economy.
“The fact that the city region is now home to over 1,200 innovative foreign-owned companies bears testament to Manchester’s strength as a world-class location for business.”
Andrew Harrison, Commercial Director for Manchester Airport, said: “The Japan 150 event comes on the back of a year of celebrating the friendship between the UK and Japan. As a Japanese speaker myself, I’m delighted that Manchester Airport is involved and we want to continue to attract visitors from the Far East to the Northwest and cement our working relationship with Finnair even further.”
Finnair’s UK Sales Director, Tomi Hanninen is pleased to see the relationship between the UK and Japan blossom: “We became the first airline operator to fly non-stop from western Europe to Japan in 1983, and since then, we have overseen a massive growth between the two nations, which has lead to us expand our destinations in Japan to include not only Tokyo but Nagoya and Osaka.”