Views from the bridge: At OBM, we are constantly gathering data, ideas, and government policy from across the worlds of energy, mobility, health and technology to ensure up to the minute insights can be applied to your business opportunities.

UK’s first post-Brexit trade agreement with Japan will increase opportunities

14 September 2020

On 11th September 2020 the UK and Japan agreed in principle on the “Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement”, which is the UK’s first post-Brexit trade deal.  Despite the short negotiation period of three months, there are a few areas which exceeded the conditions of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).  This agreement will provide not only free trade but also a good level of protection to business. We believe this partnership will provide further opportunities beyond bilateral trade, such as UK-Japan-Asia, Japan-UK-Europe/Africa, and of course the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership).

UK international trade secretary Liz Truss and Japan foreign minister Toshimitsu-Motegi agreeing the Japan-UK trade agreement.

Policy | 

Japan asked by the UK for help with 5G technology

27 August 2020

Japan may soon begin to work with the UK on 5G mobile infrastructure development.  Following the recent announcement from the UK government that it intends to ban Huawei from supplying 5G wireless equipment, the UK has asked Japan for help in building new 5G wireless networks.  Japanese technology companies NEC and Fujitsu are said to have been identified as possible suppliers during recent UK-Japan discussions.

Technology | 

Japan to create four “Silicon Valleys” to boost technology startups

31 July 2020

Japan is taking steps to strengthen its technology startup culture by following the model of Silicon Valley in the United States, and this month has defined four geographic areas which will benefit from government support to attract tech startups, investment and key talent to create new technology companies which will lead the national economy in the future.

If you would like to engage with startup ecosystem in Japan, please contact us.

Technology | Policy

OBM 10 year anniversary: Revisiting our values

29 July 2020

It is 10 years since we set up Ocean Bridge Management and 25 years since we used our Japanese heritage and cultural know-how to bring like-minded ideas and people together for business success. From the beginning our vision was always to connect good ideas, across countries and across cultures. 

As part of our birthday celebrations we decided to revisit the articulation of our vision and our values.

  • Our values
  • Programmes to support people
  • Sectors
  • Regional relationships
  • Logo changes

Two Innovative Start-ups selected for GIF 2020 (Osaka)

23 July 2020

As a result of the “Expression of Interest for GIF 2020”, two start-up companies supported by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) have been selected by Osaka Chamber of Commerce (OCCI) to attend the Global Innovation Forum 2020, which will be held in October.


The event, which is dedicated exclusively to global start-ups, is set to attract visitors from across the world and provides a unique platform for those seeking to showcase their new products and services to Japanese companies and will include pitch sessions, business meetings and networking opportunities.

Energy | Mobility | Heath | Technology

After we all stop, reflect and appreciate…where do we go from here?

17 July 2020

This is the very first point in our lives when the whole world had to stop at the same time.

Since the UK entered into lockdown, I have closely monitored government policy, business reaction, education and people’s lives.


What have we learned and what can we do as a business?


Interestingly, we have recently celebrated our 10th anniversary and this incident has given us an opportunity to think deeply about the purpose of OBM and how we like to connect with our clients across the globe.

  • Individual values re-defined
  • Humans are more capable and adaptable
  • Local and Global - the importance of partnerships
  • Importance of “Fail Fast” and “Correct Fast”
  • Everything is equal


At OBM, we look forward to welcoming you all to create ideas, partnerships and continued success in a ‘new’ world.


If you would like to discuss further please contact us.

Japan set to increase offshore wind generation capacity by 10GW by 2031

10 July 2020


The Japanese government has this week announced a major expansion of its offshore wind generating capacity.  METI, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to approve thirty offshore wind projects over the next 10 years which will add a total additional 10GW generating capacity over the next decade.

At OBM we view this as an opportunity for technology and infrastructure providers in the low carbon energy sector.  If you would like to develop your business in this area, please contact us here


EUREKA Globalstars Call Japan 2020

6 July 2020

EUREKA, in partnership with NEDO (Japan), has announced a GlobalStars funding competition for research and development (R&D) projects under the EUREKA programme.


At OBM, we have summarised the EUREKA GlobalStars Call Japan, for a scenario where a co-funded project is carried out between UK and Japanese companies.  We explain what EUREKA and EUREKA projects are, followed by a summary of the EUREKA Globalstars Call Japan 2020.

Energy|Mobility|Health | Technology

Masako Eguchi-Bacon, CEO, OBM, comments on Japan - UK trade talks

30 June 2020

Here at OBM we are following the progress of UK-Japan trade talks with interest, and we recently commented on them.  Last week, our CEO Masako Eguchi-Bacon was asked to share her views on the objectives and motivations for the trade negotiations.

Green number plates – UK’s journey along the “Road to Zero

23 June 2020

On the 16th June 2020, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a green number plate for new and existing zero emission vehicles.  It is hoped that this will boost awareness of the increasing adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles among the public and make clean vehicles easy for local authorities to distinguish. The UK has recognised the importance of zero emission vehicles for several years and hosted the first Zero Emission Vehicles Summit in 2018. This green number plate is in line with the UK’s “Road to Zero” strategy.


EU recovery plan focuses on the green economy

09 June 2020

On the 27th May, the European Commission released a major COVID-19 recovery plan with a significant focus on the European Green Deal and digitisation of the economy.


As part of the revised budget, the EU has created a Recovery and Resilience Facility of €560 billion which includes support for investments and reforms in line with the EU Green Deal, including renewable energy generation and hydrogen, smart mobility and the circular economy.


We are encouraged to see this recovery plan targeting CO2 reduction as well as economy stimulus. 

Energy|Mobility|Health | Technology

Global Innovation Forum – Osaka, Japan, 26th – 28th Oct 2020Expression of Interest to be received by the 19th June

1 June 2020

We are delighted to announce that our partner, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) will host another Global Innovation Forum on the 26th-28th October 2020, following a successful event last year.  This fully sponsored opportunity is open to start-ups with advanced technology in AI, IoT, Digital Health, VR/AR and Mobility.

Expression of Interest to be received by the 19th June.

For further information and application process, please click  below link

Energy | Mobility | Heath | Technology

Changing Mobility in the UK

28 May 2020

Following the UK government’s guidelines to ease the lockdown, an interesting shift on mobility has emerged.  As the number of pedestrians and cyclists is expected to increase due to COVID-19 restrictions on public transport, London and other local towns and cities started announcing their plans to change street layout.  We believe many of them will stay as permanent measures and also accelerate the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) systems. If you are interested in researching or launching a project in this area, please let us know. 


UK-Japan trade negotiations worth £1.5 billion about to start

13 May 2020

This week the UK Government has released its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan.  For the UK, textiles, clothing and professional and financial services are the key areas.  We expect that automotive products will be one of the main areas for Japan.  


This is a very positive development in UK-Japan trade relations and companies in both countries could come to benefit from the reduced, or zero tariffs resulting from an FTA.


If you would like further guidance, then please contact us here.

UK receives record levels of tech investment in 2019

9 April  2020

Outward looking tech investors in Japan may be interested to hear about the recent data published in a report by the UK Government-funded research organisation, Tech Nation, which shows that Investment in the UK’s tech sector grew at a faster pace than in the U.S., China, Germany and France in 2019.


UK Budget Summary March 11 2020

13 March  2020

On March 11th, 2020, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a post-Brexit budget which contained a significant increase in spending across multiple departments with a total increase in borrowing of over £125 billion.  Here is a summary of the budget policy decisions published by the UK government  in the sectors which are of relevance to OBM and our clients:


•Export Trade Policy

•Science and Technology

•Energy Sector:  Decarbonising power, industry and heat

•Electric Vehicles and reducing vehicle pollution


Half- day Course “How to Sell in Japan” on 24 April 2020

29 February 2020

OBM, in association with the Japan Desk of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering a half-day course “How to sell in Japan” on the 24th April 2020.  This course is designed for British companies who are considering expanding their business to Japan, or who are already trading in/with Japan and would like to improve their business.

Big thank you from OBM on our 10th Anniversary

22 February 2020

We just celebrated the 10th Anniversary since OBM was established on the 4th February 2010. Taking this opportunity, we would like to express our thanks to our clients, business partners, family, friends - every single person who has supported us.

The Startup Ecosystem in Kansai

10 February 2020

When you think of Japan, you may not necessarily perceive it of having a thriving startup culture.  However, this image has been changing.  Over the last decade, a new generation of entrepreneurs has been encouraged to create and develop their business ideas with help from government and industry.


We report on the exciting startup scene in Kansai, the region at the centre of the economy of Western Japan, which includes the cities Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. 

Post-Election Update and its impact on Brexit and UK-Japan Business

6 February 2020

The Conservative Party has won the 2019 UK General election and parliament has begun the process of approving the Government’s Brexit bill.  We take a look at the story so far, and what we can expect to happen in 2020, including its impact on the UK-Japan relationship.


• Why there was General Election?

• How did the main parties position themselves?

• Results of the 2019 General Election

• What does the election result mean for the Brexit process?

• Reactions from Japanese companies so far

• How is future trade with Japan affected?