LONDON (Kyodo) Heads of municipal governments called on British companies Tuesday to invest in Japan, emphasizing such merits as the country’s proximity to rapidly growing markets in the rest of Asia.

At a London symposium sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other bodies, Fukuoka Gov. Wataru Aso said his prefecture is “close to growing markets in China and other Asian countries.”

“Automakers have also moved in and it is easy to secure skilled workers,” Aso said.

Osaka Mayor Junichi Seki said his prefecture is home to the headquarters of renowned high-tech corporations, including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Sharp Corp., and is enjoying an accumulation of expertise in cutting-edge technology.

Kitakyushu Mayor Koichi Sueyoshi said his city is working to operate its customs operations around the clock and expand its port and airport facilities to enhance distribution systems.

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