Boris Johnson, Britain’s top diplomat, arrived in Japan on Thursday to discuss trade after Brexit with an economy that has played a vital role in propping up manufacturing back home.
Johnson is in Tokyo to meet top officials, business leaders and investors as well as British business representatives.
Japanese companies have invested more than £40 billion ($52 billion) in Britain with carmakers Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. helping employ thousands of workers in economically depressed parts of Britain, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The British government has courted both companies to keep their factories in the country in spite of the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union.
“I have come to Japan to build on our historic relationship, which is based on common values, support for democracy, human rights and free and open markets,” Johnson said in emailed comments.
On Friday, Johnson is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss issues such as bilateral diplomatic ties and regional security, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
The former London mayor is also slated to meet with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Olympics minister Tamayo Marukawa to share his expertise from hosting the 2012 Games as Japan prepares to host them in 2020.
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