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Agreement to help UK companies win work at Tokyo Olympics could be worth millions, says government

A cooperation agreement between the UK and Japan pledging "close collaboration" between the two countries on the planning of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup could be worth millions of pounds to UK companies throughout the supply chain, the government has said.

UK businesses have been encouraged to get in touch with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government department responsible for promoting UK businesses overseas, which will provide support and advice on the opportunities available.

Trade and investment minister Lord Livingston described the agreement, signed by representatives of the two governments last week at London's Olympic Park, as a "vote of confidence" in the ability of UK companies to deliver on major projects.

"I am delighted that Japan has signalled that it wants to use UK expertise to help deliver both the Tokyo Olympics and Rugby World Cup," he said. "The delivery of London 2012 on time and under budget has shown the world that the UK has a significant amount of expertise in staging large scale events."

The UK is already the top European destination for Japanese investment, while bilateral trade between the UK and Japan was worth £22.5 billion in 2011. Japanese companies directly employ over 140,000 people in the UK, plus tens of thousands more through supply chains.

The agreement, which was signed during last week's trade visit to the UK by the Japanese prime minister, is part of the UK government's long-term plans to maximise opportunities for UK businesses as an ongoing legacy of the 2012 London Olympics. Last week, it emerged that the economic benefit the UK has so far received as a result of the London Olympics has broken through the £13bn mark. However, to date UK companies have only won £130 million worth of contracts for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio and the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

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