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Hyslop aims to boost links with Japan in pre-Brexit visit

The External Affairs Secretary said it has 'never been more important' to strengthen Japan links.

Hyslop: Aiming to boost Japan links.
Hyslop: Aiming to boost Japan links.

It has never been more important for Scotland to strengthen its links with Japan, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop has said.

Speaking as she prepared for a week-long trip to the far eastern nation, Ms Hyslop said she would be "exploring key opportunities for collaboration".

But as well as meeting business and political leaders, she will also cheer on Scotland as they take on Japan in the Rugby World Cup.

The Scottish Government hopes the visit will further build relationships between the two nations, with Ms Hyslop having last visited Japan in 2018.

The country is already one of the top 20 destinations for exports from Scotland, with sales there valued at £530m in 2017.

There are also 100 Japanese-owned businesses operating in Scotland, at more than 235 sites, employing 7,260 people and with a turnover of more than £1.9m.

With Brexit looming, Ms Hyslop said she looks forward to "strengthening existing relations between Scotland and Japan, and exploring key opportunities for collaboration between our two nations".

She added: "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."

Ms Hyslop will visit Nagasaki, Yokohama and Toyko, and she is scheduled to discuss a memorandum of understanding between Nagasaki University and two Scottish universities, boosting collaboration on research and development projects.

A showcase event will highlight Scottish food and drink products to buyers in Japan, and Ms Hyslop will also announce the latest awards from a joint £16.2m research and development fund between Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation to design new subsea technology

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