Brexit makes strengthening links between Scotland and Japan vital, says Fiona Hyslop

It has never been more important for Scotland to strengthen its links with Japan, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop has said.

Hyslop said she would be 'exploring key opportunites for collaboration' with Japan. Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking as she prepared for a week-long trip to the Far East nation, Hyslop said she would be “exploring key opportunities for collaboration”.

With Brexit looming, Hyslop said she looks forward to “strengthening existing relations between Scotland and Japan, and exploring key opportunities for collaboration between our two nations”.

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The Scottish Government hopes the visit will further build relationships between the two nations, with Hyslop having last visited Japan in 2018.

The country is already one of the top 20 destinations for exports from Scotland, with sales there valued at £530 million in 2017.

There are also 100 Japanese-owned businesses operating in Scotland employing 7,260 people and with a turnover of more than £1.9 million.

She added: “The Scottish Government and its economic development agencies are actively promoting a business environment which encourages growth through partnership and co-investment with our friends in Japan.”

A showcase event will highlight Scottish food and drink products to buyers in Japan and Hyslop will also announce the latest awards from a joint £16.2 million research and development fund between Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation to design new subsea technology.