New roads to Japan

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Last week, over 100 delegates from London-based Japanese businesses, as well as Derbyshire companies and civic authorities, filled the Roundhouse. Aimed at those interested in the Japanese market and Japanese inward investment trends into the UK, the seminar, organised by the Japan Local Government Centre (JLGC) and Marketing Derby, focused on the opportunities available for businesses through international municipal twinning-links.

Judith Lamie, Pro Vice-Chancellor, External Affairs at Bondholder University of Derby, opened the event, with Greg Sutch, CEO of Intralink, keynote speaker. There was also a greeting from Toyota City Government, Koichiro Kuno and Mr. Yoshiyuki Kurono, Director General, Japan Local Government Centre.

The afternoon saw two lively panel discussions and Q&As with panelists from Bondholder Toyota Manufacturing UK, Hitachi Trains, Derbyshire County Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Midlands Engine and University of Derby, separated by plenary speaker Mr Hiroyuki, Iwamura of Ashurst LLP.

Keith Kelly, Relationship and Communications Manager at JLGC, said: “It was a pleasure working with John Forkin and Marketing Derby colleagues on putting the event together, we really felt that partnering with an organisation that understands the importance of international exchange at the municipal level was key to the success of the event.  There were some great comments and questions from local stakeholders and businesses in the audience; locally there seems to be is a real appetite to build on the Toyota City – Derbyshire twinning link for more business and economic links and to better understand how successful relationships with Japan work which I hope we can work on together again.”

John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby, said: “This was an important seminar, building on the excellent Toyota City links to broaden and deepen the economic relationship with Japan”

The JLGC is the London Office of the Council of Local Authorities for international relations.