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Manchester Strenghthens Relationship With Japan By Welcoming New Ambassador

22nd February 2017

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Manchester will welcome the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mr Koji Tsuruoka to the city on Tuesday 21st February. The visit aims to celebrate the region’s relationship with Japan, whilst showcasing Greater Manchester as an investment and business destination for Japanese investors, especially in the areas science, innovation, infrastructure and transport.

Japan is an important partner to the UK, with a tradition of cooperation between the two spanning 150 years. Japanese investment into the UK has helped to create over 140,000 jobs.

Japan is crucial to the UK’s future in a post-Brexit world and their expertise in areas such as infrastructure and technology, will help Greater Manchester to drive the next generation of innovation. As such, Japan has been identified as an opportunity market in the region’s Internationalisation Strategy and offers a clear growth potential for trade, investment and R&D.

The visit has been coordinated by MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency (part of Manchester Growth Company), in conjunction with the Embassy of Japan, and supported by BDP.

During the visit, His Excellency will meet Manchester’s Lord Mayor as well as attending meetings with key business representatives. The Ambassador of Japan will visit Corridor Manchester and meet representatives from Health Innovation Manchester and The University of Manchester, before ending the day at The National Graphene Institute.

The Ambassador will give a special address at Central Library as part of a business lunch that will be attended by local businesses.  Speakers at the event include Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, Takayasu Tsuyusaki, managing executive officer, Nippon Koei – BDP, who will be flying over from Japan to attend the event, and Professor Martin Gibson, chief executive officer, NorthWest EHealth. Chris Kennedy, chief financial officer, ARM Holdings and Phil Jones, managing director of Brother, will also be speaking.

Mr Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan, said: “I am very grateful for the warm welcome I have received from Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester. Our two countries have an excellent track record in innovation and creativity and I believe that, inspired by our common values, we can continue to contribute to the global community in this regard.”

“We are greatly honored that Greater Manchester has just designated Japan as one of its international priority partners.  You can be assured that our Embassy is always happy to support links between this region and Japan.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It’s an honour to welcome the Embassy of Japan and the visit sets the scene for further collaboration with Japan.

“The region is already benefiting from collaborative partnerships with Japan. This can be seen through the work that Hitachi is doing here around big data that leverages the expertise of NorthWest EHealth, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and Salford Royal NHS Trust. The partnership is already improving patient care in Greater Manchester and in time, it will have an impact across the NHS and the rest of the UK.

Mr Tsuyusaki, Managing Executive Officer, Nippon Koei – BDP, said: “As a listed Japanese company we were delighted to acquire BDP in April 2016. Our shared values and synergies, together with our complementary geographical footprints and technical skills, mean we are working collaboratively to win and deliver integrated design solutions across international markets.

“We have a vision to be the world’s leading integrated architecture, design and engineering firm delivering world class design solutions which enhance the communities they serve. BDP’s roots in England’s Northwest means we are particularly delighted to be in Manchester today, to provide some insights into our thinking around the strength of UK businesses, as seen from the perspective of Japanese investors.

“We are also excited to hear more from the City’s leaders about their ambitious plans for further economic growth and the importance of investment in infrastructure, such as Manchester’s remodelled Victoria Station and the Ordsall Chord rail link, both projects for which BDP is the design lead, and we are keen to understand how Nippon Koei – BDP might play our part in the continuing success of Manchester and the future of the Northern Powerhouse.”

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