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David Cameron to arrive in Japan for start of Asia tour

Category: Politics

Published: 10th Apr 2012 02:37:14

The prime minister is shortly to arrive in Tokyo, Japan, on the first stop of a visit to South East Asia aimed at encouraging trade deals with the UK.

David Cameron is expected to agree a new defence deal with Japan which would see both countries develop weapons together for the first time.

The 40-strong business delegation he is travelling with also includes several large defence contractors.

Mr Cameron is also set to praise Nissan for creating 1,000 jobs in Sunderland.

BBC deputy political editor James Landale, who is travelling with the prime minister, said Japan is slowly lifting its historic ban on defence trade and Mr Cameron will want the UK to be among the first to benefit.

Mr Cameron was due to visit Japan last year but the trip was postponed due to the eurozone crisis.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Science Minister David Willetts, Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington and representatives from BAE Systems, the Nuclear Industry Association and Rolls Royce are among the delegates taking part in the trade visit.

Mr Cameron is due to engage in discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on a variety of issues, including ways to deal with the global economy, any danger posed by North Korea and British expertise on nuclear decomissioning following the 9.0 Japanese earthquake last year.

Mr Cameron is also set to visit Nissan's head office in Yokohama, along with the company's chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga.

He is expected to say Nissan's decision to build its new hatchback model in the UK is "proof of the strength and vitality of the British manufacturing industry".

He will add: "Nissan's investment in the UK is a huge vote of confidence in the skills and flexibility of the UK workforce."

He is due to also say that the government wants to attract more investment and is encouraging overseas companies with a variety of incentives to invest in the UK.

The government hopes it will see deals reached on more than £200m worth of Japanese investment in the UK.

Other announcements expected during the trip include Panasonic choosing to set up a fuel research centre in Cardiff and Mitsubishi using Edinburgh as a base for a project on wind turbine generators.

The government has said that when the prime minister embarks on foreign business trips, exports rise by 20% in the countries he visits.

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