Rishi Sunak signed defence and business deals with Japan in Tokyo before the G7 summit in Hiroshima.
On board the aircraft carrier JS Izumo, the prime minister announced a partnership involving closer cooperation between British and Japanese armed forces, cyber agencies, and semiconductor companies.
He also stated that Japanese firms would invest nearly £18 billion in the UK.
However, according to Labour, foreign investment plummeted under the Conservatives.
The government is emphasizing that it views the region as a source of economic opportunity for the United Kingdom post-Brexit. In addition to cooperating with Japan and Australia to counter China’s strategic threat.
The investment from the trading and investment business conglomerate Marubeni is earmarked for offshore wind and green hydrogen initiatives in Scotland and Wales and totals approximately £10 billion.
Similarly, Sumitomo Corporation plans to invest £4 billion in offshore wind farms off the coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk.
The government stated that both investments would bolster “the United Kingdom’s status as a pioneer in clean energy” and help the country reach its net-zero energy goal by 2030.
The announcement was made as Mr. Sunak hosted a reception in Tokyo highlighting the strength of the UK and Japan’s economic relationship before the UK entered into the regional CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade bloc.
According to the government, Japan was the fifth largest UK investor last year, trading £27.7 billion in goods and services.
Mr. Sunak hailed the investment “massive vote of confidence in the United Kingdom’s dynamic economy” from Japan’s top firms.
British and Japanese enterprises and entrepreneurs have no limits.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, the party’s shadow international trade secretary, cited data from the Office for Budget Responsibility indicating that exports will decline by 6.6% this year, costing the UK £51 billion.
In response to the announcement regarding Japanese investment, he remarked that “the devil will be in the details.”
Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsui Fudosan, two of Japan’s largest real estate corporations, confirmed £3.5bn for affordable housing, office space, and the life-science laboratory in London.
Additionally, there is investment flowing in the opposite direction, from British enterprises into Japan.
Octopus Energy plans to invest £1.5 billion in the Asia-Pacific energy market by 2027 to “accelerate the region’s transition to a cleaner, smarter energy system” and to create 1,000 jobs in the United Kingdom.
The government added that Mott MacDonald will assist in the development of an offshore wind farm in western Japan that could provide renewable energy to more than 175,000 homes.
Separately, Mr. Sunak will commit to a partnership incorporating British know-how and Japanese materials to enhance semiconductor supply chains.
Silicon microchips, which are used to create supercomputers and AI technology, are vital to modern economies. And there have been concerns about their production in China.
In addition, the British prime minister vowed to station a naval battle fleet in the Indo-Pacific region by 2025.
Following the signing of the Hiroshima Accord, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mr. Sunak will attend the G7 summit. Where economic security and the conflict in Ukraine are anticipated to take center stage.
During the gathering, Mr. Sunak will conduct bilateral discussions with Emmanuel Macron of France and Narendra Modi of India.
On the flight to Tokyo, Mr. Sunak stated, “Prime Minister Kishida and I are in complete agreement regarding the significance of preserving peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and defending our values, which include free and fair trade.
“As a result of the Hiroshima Accord, we will increase cooperation between our armed forces, grow our economies together. And develop our world-leading expertise in science and technology.”
The two men shared a meal at Mr. Kishida’s preferred restaurant, which once stood on land owned by his grandfather. Mr. Sunak wore socks depicting Mr. Kishida’s sports team to the meal.
Mr. Sunak will plant a tree at Hiroshima to honour the estimated 140,000 victims of the 1945 atomic explosion.