London, Thanasis Gavos

A total of £17.7bn of new investment in UK business and infrastructure and technology projects has been pledged by leading Japanese firms as part of the British Prime Minister’s visit to the land of the rising sun.

Rishi Sunak will participate in the G7 summit in Hiroshima, but today he is preceded by contacts in Tokyo.

The announcement of the new Japanese investments was made shortly before Mr. Sunak gave a reception in Tokyo for the heads of these companies.

Japan is already the fifth largest investor in the UK with participation in business and infrastructure projects reaching £92bn, while bilateral trade in goods and services last year was £27.7bn.

The new investments concern, among others, clean energy projects with an emphasis on offshore wind farms, the construction of new low-cost housing, offices and scientific laboratories, the construction of high-voltage cables and cryptographic communication solutions.

Mr Sunak said these new investments “are a huge vote of confidence in the dynamics of the UK economy.

Investments in the Japanese market will also be made by leading British companies, in sectors such as defense and energy.

It is noted that in March the United Kingdom’s accession to the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Transcontinental Cooperation” (CPTPP) was announced.

The move makes the country the 12th member of the trading club that also includes Japan (along with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam).

Under the CPTPP, tariffs and barriers to trade between member countries are removed.

In addition, Mr. Sunak and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida are signing a new strategic cooperation agreement called the “Hiroshima Pact” during the day.

The pact covers details of bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence, trade and investment, science and technology, cyberspace, as well as addressing climate change.

At the same time, Mr. Sunak will confirm that a British aircraft carrier with accompanying ships and aircraft will be deployed again in the Indo-Pacific region in 2025, after the first mission in 2021 caused Chinese reactions.