UK in Japan 2019-2020 Launches at British Embassy Tokyo

Written by BCCJ
September 5, 2019


Written by BCCJ
September 5, 2019

Officially announced in January of this year by Prime Minister Abe during his visit to the UK, the UK in Japan 2019-20 campaign is launching this month with the start of the Rugby World Cup, running through the Olympic Games and ending next September 2020 with the Paralympic Games. As the host of these world-class sporting events, Japan will be enjoying a unique year in the international spotlight. The UK in Japan 2019-2020 campaign provides an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen bilateral ties and emerge as innovative partners in global leadership.

What to Expect from the Campaign

This high profile and ambitious campaign is headed by the British Embassy, British Consulate-General, and the British Council in Japan in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and Standard Chartered Bank. It will see a series of events and activities which highlight UK excellence across various sectors in order to bring the UK and Japan closer together through networking, sharing knowledge and experiences, and collaborations.

Promotion of diversity and inclusion, supporting the UK’s identity as innovative, creative, and open, and building success for bilateral commerce are some of the objectives of the campaign. To this end, the programme boasts five “GREAT weeks,” each of which will deliver seminars, receptions, trade missions, panel discussions, and showcases that focus on discussing how to tackle different global challenges and further collaboration in business and education.

UK food and drink will be highlighted at a “Food is GREAT Gallery” in Sapporo, Kobe, and Tokyo in order to give Japanese consumers a taste of Britain.

UK arts and culture will also be highlighted via a wide variety of programmes, offering Japanese unique experiences both with the classical music festival BBC Proms’s first visit to Japan and London’s National Gallery’s first overseas exhibition. Ise City and the British Council will be co-hosting the Ise City Residency beginning October 2019, inviting six British artists to research the Ise Grand Shrine and local area. Further collaborations between Japanese and British artists will be held across mediums, from concerts and stage performances to exhibitions.

The campaign pays special attention to the topic of education with the Study UK Japan Exhibition 2019, taking place October 2019, and New Directions 2019, an international academic conference hosted by the British Council in order to seek new approaches to English language assessment.


Ongoing September 2019

  • The Burrell Collection: A Voyage to Impressionism. Vision of a Great Shipowner-Collector, (Shizuoka & Hiroshima)
  • Masterpieces of Impressionism: The Courtald Collection (Tokyo, Aichi & Hyogo)
  • Graeae Threatre Company, Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Tokyo)
  • Julian Opie Solo Exhibition (Tokyo)
  • Royal Court Theatre International Playwright’s Programme (Tokyo)
  • Julie Brook (Komatsu)
  • Lateral Lab – Ways of Thinking (Japan: Sapporo, Odate City, Gunma, Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Osaka, Kyoto, Toshigi, Hiroshima & Fukuoka/ UK: Fife, Edinburgh & Dundee)


Arriving September 2019

  • GREAT Week: Future of Financial Services
    3 September – Future of Finance Seminar & Reception
    4 September – UK Companies Pitch Session @ FIN/SUM
    5 September – UK Fintech Night in Tokyo
  • Women in Finance and other events
  • The Royal Opera Japan Tour 2019 (Tokyo & Kanagawa)
  • Scottish Ensemble and Anna Meredith: Anno (Yokohama)
  • National Dance Company Wales, Rygbi: Annwyl I Mi/ Dear to Me (Kitakyushu & Tokyo)


Arriving October 2019

  • UK in Japan 2019-20 Media Briefing & Networking Drinks at the British Embassy (Tokyo)
  • UK Artists’ Residency at Ise City (Ise City)
  • BBC Proms Japan (Tokyo & Osaka)
  • London Symphony Orchestra Discovery Education Programme (Tokyo)


Upcoming 2020 Events

  • Philharmonia Orchestra (Tokyo)
  • GREAT Week: Clean Growth
  • GREAT Week: Healthy Ageing
  • Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London (Tokyo & Osaka)
  • Jane Bentley and Makoto Nomura: Encyclical (Toyohashi & Higashi Mikawa region)
  • Rachel Aisling Smith – The Age (Sendai)
  • GREAT Week: Future Mobility
  • Small Society Lab: Japan X Scotland (Japan: Kobe City/ Scotland: Dundee)
  • British Library, ‘Materiality of the Book in the East and West’ (MOOC release)
  • GREAT Week: Creativity
  • Jason Bruges Studio, The Constant Gardeners (Tokyo)
  • London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle (Tokyo & other cities)
  • Project Hush (Rhydymwyn, North Wales)


Further Information

For more information about the campaign or other events please visit the official website at or follow the campaign’s official twitter page @UKinJapan.

Written by Laney Bahan