Culture Secretary heads to Japan today

Trade and cultural links, investment, education and EU high on agenda.

External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop will head to Japan today for an intensive week of activity to strengthen business, trade, tourism, education and cultural links between the two countries.

Ms Hyslop will meet businesses in Tokyo and Nagasaki to promote Scotland as a place to invest, and reassure current investors that Scotland remains open for business in the wake of the UK Brexit vote.

Japan is one of the top 20 destinations for Scottish exports, and is Scotland’s seventh biggest source of direct investment, employing a Scottish workforce of 6,250 people.

Ms Hyslop is expected to discuss growth plans with current investors including Mitsubishi, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Reprocell.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Japan is a very important international partner for Scotland, with connections going back as far as the 19th century.

“Our links in biotechnology, renewable energy, academia, culture and healthcare are growing, and it will be a privilege to play a part in helping to strengthen these further.

“Scotland and Japan have much in common – a wealth of expertise, a passion for innovation, a highly educated and skilled workforce, and a desire for increased international collaboration across all sectors.

“There will be much to share and much to discuss during my time there, including providing reassurance that despite the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Scotland remains a progressive, outward-looking internationalist country that is open for business and ripe for investment. I’m confident our dialogue will deliver mutual benefits.”


The programme of activity, delivered by Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government, will take place from 13 to 17 February in both Tokyo and Nagasaki.

The visit will build on progress made since Ms Hyslop last visited Japan in 2015, which includes:

  • A summer school programme for subsea engineers between the Nippon Foundation and Robert Gordon University
  • Japan hosting its first ever ‘Scotland Day’ in Tokyo last November
  • A four-year agreement between Scottish Rugby and their partners, Nagasaki Rugby Union in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2019
  • The launch of ‘Scotland House’ in Nagasaki – a renewables incubator that now hosts nine Scottish companies
  • A full programme of academic exchange between Nagasaki University and Scottish universities

Further details of the programme will be announced throughout the coming week. Details of the engagement and all costs will be published on the Scottish Government website in due course.


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