Mission to strengthen links with Japan

Trade and culture on the agenda


Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop will undertake a week-long visit to Japan to strengthen economic and cultural links.

Ms Hyslop will wrap up her seven-day tour by supporting Scotland in their crucial game against Japan in the Rugby World Cup.

Before that, she will meet with business and political leaders, as well as key investors in the renewables sector. She will also forge bonds with universities, tourism and cultural bodies.

Ms Hyslop said:

“I look forward to strengthening existing relations between Scotland and Japan, and exploring key opportunities for collaboration between our two nations. It has never been more important to ensure that our close links continue to flourish.

“The Scottish Government and its economic development agencies are actively promoting a business environment which encourages growth through partnership and co-investment with our friends in Japan.”

Japan is in the top 20 export destinations for Scotland – valued at £530 million in 2017.

Scotland has 100 Japanese-owned businesses at 235 sites, employing 7,260 staff with a turnover of more than £1.9 billion.

We also have a strong partnership in life sciences, with a growing number of research collaborations and Japanese companies expanding into Scotland.

Links between Scotland and Japan date back to the 1860s when Scottish merchant Thomas Blake Glover became known as the Father of Japanese Industry for his work, which led to developments in coal mining, railway and shipbuilding.


The programme of activity, delivered by Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government, will take place from October 7-13 in Nagasaki, Yokohama and Tokyo.

The visit will build on progress made since Ms Hyslop last visited Japan in 2018, and will include:

• announcing the latest awards from a joint £16.2 million research and development fund between Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation to develop new innovative subsea technology

• discussions around a Memorandum of Understanding being signed between Nagasaki University and two Scottish universities to collaborate on research and development projects

• a Scottish food and drink showcase, highlighting the best of Scottish produce to Japanese buyers

• cultural visits and announcements of exchanges between Scottish and Japanese performers

Details of the engagement and all costs will be published on the Scottish Government website in due course.



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