Reception for 150th Anniversary of UK-Japan Railway Friendship

On 17 October, Ambassador and Madame Hayashi hosted the Reception for 150th Anniversary of UK-Japan Railway Friendship at the Embassy of Japan in the UK, jointly co-hosted by JR Central, Hitachi and MTR UK.

The reception was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first railway in Japan, which opened in 1872 with the cooperation of British railway technology, and to promote further friendship of the UK and Japan through railways.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Hayashi mentioned that over the 150 years since the first rail service started between Shimbashi Station and Yokohama Station in Japan, the UK and Japan have actively cooperated to share expertise and technology in the rail sector, and that Japanese companies are now returning the favour to the UK in producing rolling stock and railway operations in the UK. He also noted that there is huge potential for further cooperation in the rail sector, as seen in the UK-Japan railway expert exchange programme, and the importance of continuing to work together to help realise the potential for the overall prosperity of both peoples long into the future.

Mr Huw Merriman, Minister of State (Rail and HS2) emphasised that the bilateral relationship between the UK and Japan is stronger than ever before, referring to the contribution of Japanese companies to the UK rail industry and the UK-Japan rail expert exchange programme. He stated that it was extremely significant to further strengthen cooperation between the UK and Japan for the development of the rail sector as a green and advanced means of transport.

Around 160 participants joined this reception, with guests including British Government officials, railway operators, industries, and media operating in the UK.