Boris Johnson on whistlestop tour of Japan to boost business links


Boris Johnson is flying into one of Japan's largest trading cities ahead of a whistlestop tour to boost business links with London.

The capital's mayor will touch down in Osaka tonight ready for a series of meetings over the next three days with Japanese politicians, business leaders and investors.

Science, fashion and motoring will dominate the agenda of the trade mission as the Conservative MP holds talks in the port city, Tokyo and Yokohama.

London's expertise as a sporting city will also be at the core of the trip 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.

Ahead of the visit, Mr Johnson vowed to "bang the drum" for London and tomorrow he will champion capital's global reputation for fashion as he promotes major British export brands, such as Burberry.

The Japanese tour will also include talks to bolster technological trade ties with the nation, 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 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.

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