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Japanese Olympic Minister meets UK experts

Japan’s Olympic Minister has come to Britain to learn about the UK’s experiences of running sporting events ahead of Tokyo 2020.

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UK Foreign Office Minister Alok Sharma met Tamayo Marukawa during his visit to Japan in October 2016. Marukawa was enthusiastic about learning from the UK Government’s experience and Mr Sharma has spoken of his delight that she has made the return visit.

The UK is regarded as a world leader in staging major events after the success of London 2012, as well as other major sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

British companies could win contracts worth millions of pounds providing services to Tokyo.

Ms Marukawa and a Japanese delegation yesterday visited London’s Olympic Park and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where the Paralympic Games were first established, and have today held meetings with the British Olympic Association, lead government ministers and security experts.

Alok Sharma, UK’s minister for Asia, said:

I am absolutely delighted that Minister Marukawa is leading such a high-level delegation from Japan to the UK to talk about Britain’s experiences and expertise in organising world class sporting events. The Tokyo Olympics present a big opportunity for British companies to win contracts worth millions of pounds. I am confident the Japanese delegation will be enthused about British expertise during their visit.

Japan and Britain have a long-standing and incredibly close relationship in so many areas and it will be a wonderful opportunity to work together on what will undoubtedly be a first class Olympics in Tokyo.

Mr Sharma invited Ms Marukawa to visit the UK during a meeting with her in Tokyo in September when he offered to share Britain’s expertise in crisis planning, cyber security and counter terrorism.

More than 100 experts from the London 2012 games worked closely with Brazilian officials in the four years leading up to the Rio games. UK companies also won over £650 million in Rio contracts, including planning, design & engineering, ticketing and hospitality.

The UK exports over £10 billion in goods and services to Japan each year and Japanese investment sustains over 140,000 jobs in the UK.

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Published 16 January 2017