Leading Japanese businesses have committed to invest almost £18 billion in businesses and projects across the UK, generating growth in key sectors, creating high-skilled jobs and driving technology innovation.
The announcement comes as the Prime Minister hosted a business reception in Tokyo last week, where he welcomed the strength of the UK and Japan’s economic relationship and set out the opportunities to go further.
Japan is already our 5th largest investor with £92 billion invested in the UK, and our trade in goods and services was worth £27.7 billion last year – which is likely to be boosted further when the UK joins the regional CPTPP trade bloc. The Prime Minister will thank Japanese CPTPP Minister Goto in person today for Japan’s strong support for the UK’s membership.
The new investments include funding for offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen and other clean energy projects from Marubeni. The leading Japanese trading house has announced its intention to sign an MoU with the government which envisages approximately £10 billion of investment in the UK with its partners over the next 10 years – including in offshore wind in Scotland and green hydrogen projects in Wales and Scotland.
The company is already supporting 500 UK jobs through its subsidiary SmartestEnergy Limited and will collaborate with government to create a substantial number of new green jobs in the UK.
Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsui Fudosan, two of the largest real estate companies in Japan, are also confirming plans to invest £3.5 billion in the UK. The planned projects will build affordable housing, high quality office space and life-science laboratory in London, which is expected to support thousands of jobs and help to revitalise areas of the capital.
Sumitomo Corporation intends to expand its UK offshore wind projects, leading to a total investment of £4 billion in projects off the coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk alongside its partners. The major investment further solidifies the UK’s status as a clean energy pioneer and supports Government’s ambition to install 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Sumitomo Electric Industries has also announced its decision to build a strategically important high voltage cable manufacturing plant in the Scottish Highlands, bringing more than £200m in investment and creating 150 highly skilled green jobs. This investment will help the UK build resilient supply chains for critical infrastructure such as offshore wind projects and support UK developers to enhance their contribution to UK growth.
The new investment will support growth in some of the UK’s most cutting-edge industries. Toshiba will be expanding operations at their Cambridge Laboratory, for example, which is designing and delivering advanced quantum-safe cryptographic communication solutions – creating more than 30 new jobs initially and investing in excess of £20 million in new technology development.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
These new investments are a massive vote of confidence in the UK’s dynamic economy, from some of Japan’s top firms.
Working with the Government and British industry they will create the kind of high-quality, reliable jobs and transformative local investment we are delivering around the country.
It’s great to also see leading UK businesses seizing the huge opportunities for growth and collaboration in Japan. As we grow our trade ties further and join the huge regional CPTPP trade bloc, the sky’s the limit for British and Japanese businesses and entrepreneurs.
UK company Octopus Energy is also announcing today its commitment to invest £1.5 billion in the Asia-Pacific energy market by 2027, helping speed up the region’s transition to a cleaner, smarter energy system. Doubling down on its existing Asian headquarters, Octopus will commit £300 million to expand its tech innovation and energy retail hub in Tokyo. This will enable the business to increase its headcount tenfold by 2027, creating 1,000 green jobs for UK and local talent.
As we grow our defence cooperation with Japan, Leonardo UK in partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been contracted to provide further world-class naval helicopters and Mid Life Upgrade kits for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, in a deal worth over £150 million in exports.
Building on the UK’s expertise in offshore wind, UK consultancy Mott MacDonald has also secured a major contract to help develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind farm in western Japan that could power more than 175,000 homes with clean energy.
Masumi Kakinoki, CEO of Marubeni Corporation said:
We are thrilled to have forged a robust partnership with the United Kingdom, and we eagerly anticipate collaborating with the UK government to unleash a surge of investment into the nation’s clean energy transition.
This endeavour not only signifies our commitment to the UK’s energy transition, but also reinforces Marubeni’s role as an active participant in the global march towards a sustainable future. We are on the brink of an energy revolution, and it is partnerships like these that will help ensure our shared success.
Greg Jackson, Founder of Octopus Energy Group, said:
International cooperation is the key to creating an energy transition which benefits consumers and economies as well as the climate. Our partnership with Tokyo Gas has grown ever stronger and I’m delighted to be bringing even more investment to Japan and into the UK.
Linking our businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to the UK and Europe, our operations in Japan have helped create a unique global technology ecosystem benefiting everyone. I’m excited to take it even further with today’s announcement.
Alongside chief executives and CEOs from firms like Nissan, Sumitomo Corporation and Hitachi, the Prime Minister will meet three start-up UK companies at today’s business reception. Winnow, Transreport and Oxentia have just announced new partnerships and offices in Japan, demonstrating the opportunities for growing UK companies to export internationally.
These announcements come as the UK and Japanese governments unveil a new Renewable Energy Partnership which includes building business partnerships to accelerate the deployment of clean energy.