As part of the British Government’s GREAT campaign, showcasing the best of what Britain has to offer, Tim Hitchens, British Ambassador to Japan, hosted a gala reception on 28 October at the British Embassy Tokyo to launch a ‘GREAT Creative Week in Japan’, promoting British companies with creative and innovative expertise in the design, fashion and music sectors.
Sponsored by MINI Japan and Bombay Sapphire, the event brought together British companies from the creative sector with stakeholders and potential partners in Japan. Entertainment was provided by British-Japanese violinist Diana Yukawa before a series of Pecha Kucha inspired mini-presentations were given by Ambassador Tim Hitchens, TV personality and Food is GREAT Campaign Ambassador Harry Sugiyama and selected British companies, each of whom had 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to tell the audience about themselves and what makes their brand stand out.
A series of UK Trade & Investment seminars, workshops and exhibitions were then held throughout the week for participating British companies, including a ‘meet-the-buyer’ event for visiting companies from the design sector, covering areas such as transport, printing and manufacturing, as well as a design workshop in collaboration with Nikkei BP.
British music companies also attended seminars and a “Music of Our Times - Powered by WIRED” conference where they met with key figures from the Japanese music industry to gain insights into future consumer trends and how to succeed in Japan’s exciting music market.
29 British companies from the fashion sector took part in a Fashion is GREAT showcase at LaForet in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, where they had booths to present their brand, meet buyers from department and speciality stores. More than 350 buyers and media visited the showcase, timed to coincide with Tokyo Designers Week 2013 when many retailers and distributors converge in the capital.
A British pavilion at the Tokyo Designers Week is also holding a Great British BEER Festival, where guests can sample the best of British ales and beers from now until 4 November.
British Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens said:
Japanese consumers are respected worldwide for their sophistication, curiosity and knowledge about heritage and workmanship as well, of course, as their commitment to unearthing the new, the bold and the original. I firmly believe that the GREAT British companies visiting as part of this ‘GREAT Creative Week’ bring these attributes in spades. I very much hope we can play a part in bringing together potential future partnerships and, in doing so, help both our economies to prosper.
Photos from the GREAT week will be shared on the Embassy’s Flickr.