UK Minister visits Japan ahead of Osaka Expo 2025

  • Minister Adams spoke to senior Japanese politicians and leading British businesses about the opportunities presented by Expo 2025.
  • He is the first UK Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Osaka since 2017.
  • Japanese investment in the UK totalled £102.3 billion in 2020, directly supporting 150,000 jobs.

Cabinet Office Minister Nigel Adams visited Tokyo and Osaka last week to confirm the UK’s commitment to the Osaka Kansai Expo 2025, a major international conference which will highlight British businesses on the global stage.

The Minister met senior Japanese politicians, as well as a range of influential representatives of Japanese and UK businesses and organisations, to discuss partnership opportunities at the Expo and the potential to strengthen the ever-growing relationship between Japan and the UK.

The World Expo is an international event for nations across the world to showcase products, expertise and sources of national pride. In November 2018, the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) decided that the World Expo 2025 will take place in Osaka, Kansai, Japan.

Minister Adams met with Minister for World Expo 2025, Kenji Wakamiya, and executives from the Japan Association for 2025 World Exposition, using the visit to reiterate the UK’s participation and next steps for both countries to help make the event a success.

Cabinet Office Minister Nigel Adams said:

It has been great to visit Osaka, see the site for the 2025 Expo and learn more about the historic ties between Japan and the UK.

Expo 2025 will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of British innovation and culture and further enhance our deepening partnership with Japan.

My conversations with stakeholders this week have underlined the deep interest and shared values between the UK and Japan and the scope for us to work more closely together in the coming years on key global challenges in life sciences, sustainability and digital technology.

Minister Adams also spoke to business leaders from UK companies and the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan about the scope for businesses in both the UK and Japan to work together on the exhibition. During his visit the Minister spoke to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) negotiators to underline the UK’s commitment to free trade and joining this world-leading plurilateral trade grouping.

During his trip Minister Adams also spoke to representatives at Astrazeneca’s Tokyo branch about bolstering the UK’s leadership in global healthcare manufacturing and their strong presence across Japan.

Notes for Editors

The Osaka Kansai Expo 2025 will run from 13 April to 13 October 2025 in Osaka, Japan. The overall theme is “Designing future society for our lives”, with sub-themes of saving lives, empowering lives and connecting lives. This will be the biggest international event this decade with around 140 countries and regions already committed to participating. The Prime Minister confirmed UK participation to then Japanese Prime Minister Suga in June 2021, a message reiterated to PM Kishida during his visit to the UK in May this year.

Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Japan was £23.1bn at the end of 2021, with trade largely evenly balanced between both countries (UK exports to Japan £11.5bn, UK imports £11.6bn).

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a trade agreement between 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), covering 500 million people.

CPTPP countries accounted for £110 billion-worth of UK trade in 2019 and its rules remove tariffs on 95% of goods traded between members. UK accession could cut tariffs in vital UK industries like food and drink and the automotive sector, as well as creating new opportunities in areas like digital, data, and across services. Joining CPTPP will deepen our access to fast-growing markets and projected major economies of the future, including Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries. In Japan, AstraZeneca’s  primary focus is on Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology fields.