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OSAKA — The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry created a “business ambassador” system Sept. 19, in which selected businesspeople travel abroad and promote Osaka and the Kansai region to foreign firms.

So far, 13 executives of major companies based in Osaka, including Sanyo Electric Co., Nissho Iwai Corp. and Marubeni Corp., have accepted the chamber’s request to become business ambassadors, according to chamber officials. In addition to its member firms, the chamber will ask consulates and foreign firms based in the Kansai region to recommend people for the post, the officials said.

The business ambassadors will have to bear the cost of traveling abroad, although the chamber will set up opportunities for them to make speeches and supply the necessary information on Osaka, they said. The first ambassador to take up the role is Teruo Hotta, vice chairman of the chamber and an adviser to Itochu Corp.. He will make a presentation to businesspeople in Manchester, Britain, next week during the chamber’s mission to Europe.

Because most foreign companies wishing to do business in Japan tend to go to Tokyo, Osaka and other regional cities are having difficulty attracting foreign investment and are trying to come up with ideas to promote their business environment and culture.

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