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Japan (Private Trade Arrangements)

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements he is making for the selection of firms to be represented by the 64 business men allowed into Japan; and what facilities are being afforded to these firms for the despatch of their representatives, their heavy baggage and office furniture.

Apart from banking, insurance and shipping interests, entry into Japan is permitted by the occupying authorities for the following purposes at the outset:

  • (1) To purchase goods available for export, or to make arrangements for future purchases of potential exports, or to sell raw materials which Japan requires.
  • (2) To inspect commercial investment interests. Applications for this purpose will be given consideration only after other needs are filled.
  • Applications from United Kingdom firms exceed the number of places available and applicants are now being selected in accordance with these purposes, and in the light of the information available as to the goods which Japan has for export. Firms with prewar interests in Japan are, of course, given priority. The Colonial Office and Burma Office have asked their respective Governments to forward applications of Colonial and Burmese firms as soon as possible. These will be centralised in the Board of Trade as the Department operating the quota of 64 for ourselves, the Colonies and Burma. Until it is known how many places are required by the Colonies and Burma, a complete selection of United Kingdom firms cannot be made, but all firms who have applied will know very shortly, if they do not already, whether a place can be offered to them on the first party.Travel arrangements for business men are being made through the Export Promotion Department. Unless a particular request for sea passage is made, travel will be by air, either from this country via Hong Kong to Tokyo, or for those already in the Far East direct from Hong Kong to Tokyo. Advice on how to send baggage over 66 lb. which must go by sea freight, is also given by my Department. This applies also to office equipment. Since office accommodation, as well as living accommodation, is being provided by the Japanese, and permits are granted in the first place for 21 days, I could not advise firms to take office furniture with them.