I was incredibly excited to have seen Abe twice on his recent visit to the UK on May 1st. He gave a speech at the “Invest in Japan-A Regional Roadmap” Seminar I attended, organised by JETRO in London, to support Governors from Mie and Hiroshima Prefectures and Mayors from Fukuoka and Kobe Cities in their efforts to promote their prefectures and tell foreign investors about the attractive incentives and support packages available to attract FDI. He then went to meet David Cameron, who released a joint statement and then he gave a key note speech at the first ever Japan UK Conference “Collaboration in Research and Education” to discuss how this relationship can be further developed.
I was then honoured to have been invited to a Dinner in the evening at the Guildhall, which was a grand occasion with excellent food, English wine, sparkling sake from Abe’s own prefecture Yamaguchi and Suntory Whisky. He gave a very stirring speech about “Redefining Japan UK Relations” with poignant references to the Choshu 5, outlining his commitment to the EU Japan EPA, the future of Abenomics, womenomics, the opening of the Japanese market and opportunities for collaborating with the Olympics. The shared respect and love between the two countries was very evident as was the growing interest in the current changes taking place in Japan.
The next day Abe visited the Olympic Stadium to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation between UK and Japan to help British businesses share their expertise from the London Olympics and win business at the Tokyo Olympics. As I write this, he is in Brussels negotiating the EPA and the EU are expected to be satisfied that Japan meets most conditions for talks to proceed. All in all, a successful visit signifying not only the close ties between our two countries but the real opportunities that are there for co-operation and investment. 安倍総理 お疲れさまでした