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METI State Minister Seki Visits the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany

September 9, 2019

From September 3 (Tue.) to 7 (Sat.), 2019, Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany.

In the U.K., concerning the current situation surrounding the impact of the U.K.’s departure from the EU on Japanese-affiliated companies in the U.K. and the global economy, State Minister Seki held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Jo Johnson, Minister of State attending Cabinet at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (the post as of Wednesday, September 4). Following this, he exchanged views with representatives of Japanese-affiliated companies in the U.K.

In Germany, State Minister Seki attended the IFA, the world’s leading exhibition of consumer electronics, and held meetings each with governmental dignitaries, including H.E. Mr. Oliver Wittke, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), and H.E. Mr. Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin. At each meeting, the two sides agreed on further promotion of cooperation and other efforts in the field of digital technology.

1. United Kingdom

(1) Meeting with Minister Johnson

State Minister Seki held a meeting with Minister Johnson and the two sides exchanged views on: the current situations surrounding the U.K.’s departure from the EU and the impact thereof on Japanese-affiliated companies in the country; development of Japan-UK industrial cooperation under the UK-Japan Joint Statement; cooperation in the fields of AI and energy; and other issues.

(2) Visiting a Japanese-affiliated company in the U.K.

State Minister Seki visited a plant operated by Panasonic Manufacturing UK Ltd., a company developing business in Wales, the U.K., and exchanged views with staff of the company concerning future business development, the current situation surrounding the U.K. Exit from the EU (Brexit), challenges in business environments and other issues.

(3) Exchanging views with the staff of Japanese-affiliated companies in the U.K.

State Minister Seki exchanged views with staff of five Japanese-affiliated companies in the U.K. concerning future business development, the current situations surrounding the U.K. Exit from the EU (Brexit), challenges in business environments and other issues.

2. The Federal Republic of Germany

Japan has become the first global partner of the IFA/NEXT exhibition, a special side event on innovations of the IFA, the world’s leading exhibition of consumer electronics. In response to this, State Minister Seki attended the opening ceremony of the IFA/NEXT. Following this, he supported Japanese companies, including Japanese startups selected under the J-Startup Program called “J-Startups,” in showcasing their displays at the IFA and undertook a variety of efforts for vitalizing business innovations, including making a proposal, taking the opportunity of the IFA, on ideal approaches to new user interfaces that help users enjoy the benefits of digital technology.

Taking these opportunities, State Minister Seki held meetings each with Parliamentary State Secretary Wittke, Mayor Muller, top executives of international electronics companies and others. At each meeting, the two sides agreed on further promotion of cooperation and other efforts in the field of digital technology.

In addition, he visited the Japan Pavilion and display booths showcased by Japanese companies and exchanged views with stakeholders and other representatives of the companies concerning potential in business development and cooperation in Germany and other European countries.

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