Boris Johnson lets his feet do the talking on Japan trade visit


Boris Johnson kicked off his Japanese trade mission by stunning locals when he danced in the aisles of a swanky department store.

London's mayor took hold of professional dancer Charlotte Gooch, who is starring in a touring production of Top Hat, and led her in a waltz in Hankyu, Osaka.

Mr Johnson gave the impromptu display of his dance moves as he visited the closing day of a UK trade fair held at the store, where the musical is exhibiting. 

Dozens of UK businesses and brands, including The Shard and Harrods, take part in the promotional event which has been running since 1970 and brings in around £1.6 million over the course of a week.

The event attracts visitors from across Japan and shoppers rushed in as the store opened to snap up British produce such as fish and chips and afternoon tea.

Later, the Conservative MP will dip into the fashion world when he helps to launch a flagship store for Burberry, one of Britain's biggest clothing brands.

Over the course of the three-day visit, Mr Johnson will push 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.

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."

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."