(Nikkei: July 25, 2015 – p. 4)
In order to help promote infrastructure exports, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) has started an initiative to invite ambassadors or ministers of foreign embassies in Tokyo to visit Japanese companies in order to publicize their advanced technology. The first visit will take place at Shimizu Corporation on July 29. Although Japan’s infrastructure companies possess advanced technology, they are relatively unknown overseas. MLIT wants to enhance their name recognition through foreign diplomats in Tokyo, hoping this will help them land contracts in the future.
The “Company Tour” initiative recruits interested companies through the infrastructure industry group, the Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc. (OCAJI). A half-day tour of one company is conducted every two months. This company can choose which country’s diplomats it wants to host and what information it would like to present. Companies will be able to focus on promoting infrastructure exports.
For its forthcoming company tour, Shimizu is planning to have more than 20 diplomats from 18 African countries participate in a visit to its technical research institute on earthquakes and disaster prevention and its main office with emission reduction and other environmental facilities. MLIT is planning trips to general contractors, engineering, real estate, housing, and other companies in the future.
Since last November, MLIT has also been conducting tours of developments sites for diplomats from the Asian countries under its “City Tour” initiative.