LONDON (Kyodo) Lord Mayor of the City of London David Brewer is due Thursday to lead the largest-ever City of London business group to the Far East in order to encourage strong business links between London and Tokyo’s financial district.

“We don’t take the Japanese presence in London for granted. We value it very highly. It’s a very influential part of the City of London. It is big and the Japanese representatives have been here for a long time,” Brewer said ahead of his six-day trip.

One of Brewer’s main jobs is as ambassador for the capital’s Square Mile, promoting the leading international financial and business center.

He was keen to make Japan one of the key countries to visit in his yearlong term, during which he will visit 23 countries.

He spoke of his excitement at returning to Tokyo, where he worked in the financial services industry for three years in the late 1970s.

His schedule includes meetings with Tokyo Stock Exchange President Taizo Nishimuro and Bank of Japan Gov. Toshihiko Fukui, as well as government and representatives from big business.

He will be accompanied by a large delegation of financial representatives with strong interests in Japan.

Brewer will also travel to China on a similar mission, building on the theme of “common prosperity.”

He said he was keen to get input on London’s “open” financial district and stock exchange from emerging economies, including China and India, but not at the cost of “old friends,” namely Japanese businesses with long U.K. ties.

“I see Japanese companies coming back due to a general confidence in the revival of their country’s economy,” he said.

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