Category Archives: Asia

British Embassy Tokyo Call For Bids: Report On Decentralised Energy Infrastructure In Africa

The British Embassy Tokyo is looking to commission a report on identifying barriers to decentralised energy infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. The deadline for bids is 1700 on 14 June 2019 (Japan time)

British Embassy Tokyo

British Embassy Tokyo

With TICAD to be held in Yokohama in August 2019, there is a chance for greater discussions on the electrification of rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. While there have been some solar PV mini-grid projects facilitated by the Japanese government (JICA) and the British government (DFID) separately, there is scope for more projects where both governments and companies can come together with a third country government and private companies (public-private partnerships). We would like to commission a study for up to £16K that will help facilitate UK-Japan investment in the energy infrastructure of a third country.

To find out more, including how to bid, please download the Request for Quotes (PDF789KB30 pages. If you may have queries, please contact Michelle Appeah, +81 (0)7 01427 4440, michelle.appeah@fco.gov.uk.

British Embassy Tokyo Call For Bids: Provision Of Event Production Services For UK In Japan 2019-2020 Campaign

The British Embassy Tokyo is looking for an Event Production Company to deliver UK in Japan 2019-2020 Campaign. The deadline for bids is 1200 on 24 June 2019 (Japan time)

British Embassy Tokyo

British Embassy Tokyo

The British Embassy would like to invite you to join our tender for the provision of event production services to deliver UK in Japan 2019-2020 Campaign.

UK in Japan 2019-20 campaign will run from September 2019 to October 2020 coinciding with the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Using the catalyst of these two global sporting moments the UK aims to showcase its excellence in business, innovation, culture, the arts, education, and diversity and inclusion. A series of events and activities will take place across all of these themes to demonstrate the strengths and opportunities for continued and new partnerships between the UK and Japan. We are seeking a dedicated, inventive and creative team to deliver the core event programme of the campaign period.

To access the bid documents please register with the portal by using the following URL: https://fco.bravosolution.co.uk/ then navigate Project _2515 / ITT_3040. Registering is quick, easy and free and is the only way in which you will be able to review the tender document.

To find out more, including how to bid, please download the Invitation to Tender (PDF360KB1 page. If you may have queries, please contact apac.procurement@fco.gov.uk.

President Donald J. Trump And Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Advance The United States’ And Japan’s Global Partnership

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

President Donald J. Trump visited Japan May 25–28.  During this historic visit, the President and First Lady Melania Trump congratulated Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress on the Emperor’s enthronement as the new Emperor of Japan.  The President renewed the strong bonds of friendship between our two countries during the new era of “Reiwa.”

The President and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and noted that it is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.  The two leaders also highlighted steps taken to strengthen security, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation.

True Global Partnership

  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe have enhanced and deepened our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region and, in a new era of U.S.-Japan relations, have built a true global partnership.
  • Under President Trump, the United States and Japan have negotiated a series of beneficial agreements, including on energy and infrastructure investment in November 2017.
  • The United States and Japan are working to advance a rules-based maritime order, improve energy security, ensure secure and resilient telecommunications systems, and boost resiliency to natural disasters.

Robust Security Alliance

  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe highlighted the need for an increasingly networked structure of alliances and partnerships, anchored by the U.S.-Japan Alliance, to counter challenges to the United States’ and Japan’s shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe noted that the U.S.-Japan Alliance is both a model and a platform for binding those allies and partners closer together to uphold the rules-based order in the region.
  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed that international law applies in cyberspace and that a cyber attack could, in certain circumstances, constitute an armed attack under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. They also reaffirmed that a decision as to when a cyber attack would constitute an armed attack under Article V would be made on a case-by-case basis, and through close consultations between Japan and the United States, as would be the case for any other threat.
  • Japan committed to strengthening and enhancing information security practices to protect classified information, maintain technological superiority, and preserve our shared economic and defense advantages. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe emphasized the need for greater supply chain security, noting threats to the defense industrial base, national networks, and critical infrastructure.
  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed their commitment to the realignment of United States forces in Japan to maintain United States armed forces’ operational readiness and deterrent capability while mitigating the impact on local communities.

Space, Technology, and Science Leadership

  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed on the importance of a sustained human presence on and around the Moon. Building on its International Space Station (ISS) experience, Japanese astronauts will strive to join American astronauts on the Moon and destinations beyond.
  • Meaningful cooperation, such as on ISS, the future exchange of samples from Japan’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx missions, and future partnership on the Martian Moon eXplorer (MMX) mission, enables fundamental research and technology development, serves as an inspiration for future generations, and advances joint human and robotic exploration endeavors.
  • The April 2019 U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2) highlighted space as a priority area to better prepare the U.S.-Japan Alliance for cross-domain operations.
  • The United States and Japan met for the 14th Joint High Level Committee (JHLC) Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation on May 2, 2019 in Washington, D.C. to advance our nation’s science and technology leadership. S.-Japan cooperation provides the basis for scientific, technological, and economic progress that benefits both nations.  The JHLC advanced cooperation in energy, bioscience, precision medicine, future workforce development, the use of emerging technologies, quantum science, space, and artificial intelligence.
  • Nearly six decades of health and bioscience U.S.-Japan cooperation has achieved profound breakthroughs in cancer and infectious disease research, food and drug safety, support for aging populations, bioscience technologies, and influenza and emergency preparedness. In early 2019, both nations convened the 21st International Conference on “Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Pacific Rim” with the shared objectives of making the world safer from pandemics and promoting One Health Principles and bioscience globally.

Strategic Energy Partners

  • The Japan-U.S. Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) is deepening cooperation on power sector and transmission grid development, particularly in the Mekong Region and in Africa, to grow sustainable and secure energy markets, increase energy diversification and trade, and expand energy access across the region.
  • The two sides are deepening civil nuclear cooperation, including in innovation, commercial cooperation in specific markets, nuclear decommissioning, training and capacity building to ensure the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and nonproliferation.
  • JUSEP is exploring means to unleash value in energy and infrastructure by catalyzing private capital. Cooperation will be targeted to develop deep and liquid debt markets for energy and infrastructure investments by catalyzing private capita and identifying avenues to increase and enhance investment opportunities for Japan industry in the U.S. energy and infrastructure market.
  • The JUSEP Power Sector Business Initiative leveraged Japan’s $10 billion in financing to stimulate investment in energy projects. S. and Japanese companies cooperate on these projects in the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Mozambique, and Indonesia.
  • Expanding and deepening energy and quality infrastructure cooperation through training and capacity building programs for third countries. This cooperation aligns Japan’s energy capacity building efforts with the U.S. Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) Initiative and includes activities such as liquefied natural gas value chain and procurement training in Southeast Asia.

Fostering the Digital Economy

  • The Japan-U.S. Strategic Digital Economy Partnership (JUSDEP) supports secure digital connectivity and develops the digital economy in third countries by facilitating high-standard investments.
  • This Partnership aligns Japan’s public financing and capacity building initiatives with the United States’ Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership and related initiatives such as the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership.
  • JUSDEP’s core principles are encouraging innovation and enabling digital trade, countering digital protectionism and the illegitimate use of data by authoritarian governments, promoting the free flow of data, and protecting privacy and intellectual property rights.
  • Initial activities include:
    • Collaboration on smart cities with an initial, primary focus on ASEAN to improve the lives of people by applying best practices to advancing the digital transformation of urban systems.
    • Strengthening cybersecurity capacity building cooperation to ensure partner nations can develop robust and secure digital economies.
    • Fostering Centers of Excellence to share cybersecurity best practices and enhance the digital economy.
    • Promoting digital connectivity and services that respect human rights, uphold our shared values, and support policies to enable an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.
    • Furthering the deployment of secure and reliable information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the implementation of telecommunication principles that foster secure, reliable, and trusted supply chains.
    • Enhancing standards cooperation to foster leadership in the development of global ICT standards.

Advancing Prosperity Together

  • Bilateral economic ties are strengthened by Japan’s continued foreign direct investment into the United States. Japan is the 3rd largest source of investment, the 3rd largest contributor to U.S. research and development spending, and the second largest contributor to U.S. employment and the top contributor to manufacturing-based employment overall.
  • Toyota recently announced that by 2021 it will invest nearly $13 billion in its U.S. operations with plans to add nearly 600 new jobs at American manufacturing plants. Also, Toyota, Softbank and Denso announced a $1 billion dollar investment to help Uber develop self-driving cars and technology.

Championing Free and Open Societies

  • President Trump and Prime Minister Abe are unlocking greater private investment, combating corruption, and securing nations’ autonomy from foreign coercion by promoting transparency, openness, and rule of law.
  • Championing young leaders in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Promoting free and open media.

2018 UK Visa Statistics Show 11% Growth In China

China was responsible for a massive quarter of UK visas issued globally last year, according to the latest quarterly report on Immigration Statistics published by the Home Office

2018 UK visa statistics show 11% growth in China

2018 UK visa statistics show 11% growth in China

More than 730,000 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2018 – 25% of the total 2.9million entry clearance visas granted – representing a 11% increase on the previous year.

Both Chinese visitor and students numbers saw strong growth. The number of visit visas issued to Chinese nationals last year increased by 11% to around 588,000, while almost 100,000 Tier 4 study visas were granted, up 13% on the previous year and now around 40% of the global total.

2018 also saw a 26% rise in the number of short-term study visas, to more than 31,000, and a 16% rise in the number of work visas issued, to more than 6,000.

The UK Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward, said:

The significant rise in visa applications demonstrates the growing strength of the UK and China relationship.

More and more Chinese people are choosing to visit the UK and we have seen a 400% increase in applications in the last decade.

This is due to steps we have taken to improve the visa application process including the launch of the two year multi-entry visit visa.

The UK is one of the top destinations in the world for Chinese tourists and students because of our historic landmarks and our internationally respected universities.

Around 1.6 million visit visas have been issued to Chinese nationals since the pilot launched in January 2016.

The 2018 statistics were released as the UK prepares to make major changes to its online customer journey to ensure a more convenient and flexible service for applicants. From later this month, customers in China applying online will be able to seamlessly transition between the visa application form and the next stage of the application journey, offered by UKVI’s commercial partner VFS Global.

This will allow them to book their visa application centre appointment, scan and upload their supporting documents from the comfort of their own home, and purchase any additional services to enhance their experience, in one continuous journey. Alternatively, customers can have their documents scanned at the visa application centre when they attend their appointment, for a small fee.

These changes follow the global rollout of Access UK, UKVI’s new streamlined online application service which replaces Visa4UK. The UK will also shortly be rolling out technology that will allow customers to self-scan their biometrics when attending their visa application centre appointment, providing a quicker, smoother experience.

The UK also announced last week two new visa routes to attract leading business talent to the UK. The Start-up visa route will be open to those starting a business for the first time in the UK, while the Innovator visa route will be for more experienced business people who have funds to invest in their business.

The Passing Of His Excellency Virachai Plasai Ambassador Of The Kingdom Of Thailand To The United States Of America

Ambassador Virachai Plasai

Ambassador Virachai Plasai

On behalf of the United States of America, I offer heartfelt condolences on the passing of His Excellency Ambassador Virachai Plasai to his family, friends, and the people of Thailand.

Ambassador Virachai is remembered by many as a stalwart friend of the United States, working tirelessly to further the U.S.-Thai relationship and advance the prosperity and security of both our nations. Ambassador Virachai previously served as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations in New York where he did much to exert Thai leadership globally. He was an avid musician, bringing the beauty of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s musical compositions to many Americans.

Ambassador Virachai will be greatly missed. The United States will long remember his leadership and contributions to his country and the world.

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