Foreign Secretary visits Japan, teaches English to Japanese school children

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Harking back to one of his first jobs out of university, when he spent time living in Japan, the Foreign Secretary will have a chance to talk to pupils about all the doors learning English can open for them, and contribute himself to an industry already worth £20 billion to the UK economy.

The session is taking place during a day of engagements in Tokyo, which will include a meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan, as well as visits to Toyota and NTT – two companies with huge investment in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the visit Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary said:

I was lucky enough to live and work in Japan just after I left university. It taught me that an understanding of a foreign culture, country and language can be hugely valuable in later life, not least in helping get ahead in business in a globalised world.

I’m privileged to be able to visit Japan as Foreign Secretary and see how that shared culture is inspiring the next generation.

The UK has always been an outward-looking, global power. That cannot change after Brexit. I look forward to our relationship with Japan getting even closer in the years after we leave the EU.

The Foreign Secretary will also meet Toyota – to hear about their plans to build a new car, in partnership with Suzuki, in their Derbyshire factory following its £240m upgrade – and NTT during his time in Tokyo. He will also update them on EU Exit developments, and reassure them that UK Government is focussed on avoiding a no-deal Brexit and on agreeing a deal which that will ensure tariff-free frictionless trade between the EU and the UK, something Japanese businesses have told government they want.

According to the British Council, the impact of globalisation and economic development has made English the ‘language of opportunity’ and a vital means of improving an individual’s prospects for well-paid employment.

The school the minister will visit – Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School – has an international outlook and regularly nominates students to study A-Levels and go onto UK universities via the Tazaki Foundation.

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