A strategy which involves setting up a club for local businesses interested in trading with Japan has been backed.
.Members of Aberdeen City Council’s finance committee have given the green light to proposals for the second year of the plan.
Officers will now look at establishing the Glover Club – named after Aberdeen industrialist Thomas Blake Glover – which will help local businesses make contact with companies in Japan, as well as Japanese companies who want to invest in Aberdeen.
Representatives from academia could also be included and officers will report back to the committee in April.
Councillor Ross Thomson, has been heavily involved in the strategy and said ties between Aberdeen and Japan were growing stronger.
Japanese businessmen have visited the Granite City and talks have been held with businesses such as Panasonic, Toyota and Hitachi.
Mr Thomson believes Aberdeen can share its 40 years of experience in the energy sector with Japanese companies, as well as the Japanese Government.
And he believes there are further opportunities to develop links through technology, renewable energy and universities.
He also stressed Aberdeen’s unique relationship with Japan because of Thomas Blake Glover, which other areas did not have.
Mr Glover is hailed as founding modern Japan and the Mitsubishi conglomerate in the 19th century.
Such is his fame in Japan, school children are taught about him in the classroom, Mr Thomson said, learning about his impact on the economy, society and government.
A Glover whisky has also been sold in 14 countries and includes information about the renowned businessman from Fraserburgh.
Officers have also been asked to work with VisitAberdeen to develop a plan to promote Aberdeen to Japanese visitors.
And plans are in the pipeline for an officer to attend the 12th International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo in Tokyo in March to further develop Aberdeen’s hydrogen sector.
“It’s really exciting for Aberdeen and for the north-east,” said Mr Thomson.
“The strategy has received huge publicity in Japan.”
Keith Kelly, communications officer at the Japan Local Government Centre, welcomed the strategy.
“It’s great to hear a local authority in Scotland is focusing specifically on a Japan strategy.
“In a competitive global market these kind of links based on mutual historic heritage between our two countries are very much appreciated by business, citizens and local governments in Japan.”