Play UK trade mission to Japan in September 2012

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UK Trade & Investment is organising the Play UK trade mission to Japan in September 2012. This mission will coincide with the Tokyo Game Show 2012. UK registered companies in the supply of digital games, mobile games, social games, digital media, content and services are invited to participate in this mission.


Japan is the Mecca of digital games; many leading games companies are born in Japan including Capcom, Namco Bandai, Square Enix Sony Computer Entertainment and Nintendo. Total shipment of Japanese digital games companies for domestic and overseas business was £13 billion in 2010. Japan alone was worth £3.2 billion.

Smartphones have become a key platform of digital content and 23 million units were shipped into the Japanese market in 2011 and it is expected to reach 40 million in 2012. Thanks to the success of the iPhone, new digital media and services are now crucial for differentiation.

The Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is Japan’s main annual computer games convention. Despite the global economic downturn, TGS 2011 had 220,000 visitors and 193 exhibitors. TGS 2012 is expected to be the same size of the event with an even more international focus.

The Japanese market is always interested in new products. Opportunities exist for advanced and innovative products, especially in the areas of content, development tools software, hardware, peripherals, animation and 3D, design services in new digital games, mobile games, mobile monetisation etc.


Having your meetings set up with the right people, having your sales pitch clear, having a clearly laid out itinerary with clear travel instructions, and using reliable interpreters, takes much of the stress out of your first interactions with potential clients.

The most valuable support UKTI can provide is in using our network of contacts within Japanese business to set up business-to-business meetings with the right contact for your product or service. UKTI’s dedicated, experienced and well-connected team in the UK and Japan is entirely focused on giving UK companies this type of support.

Mission participants will benefit from bespoke support both in the UK and Japan. In advance of the mission, we will discuss your needs and help you ensure you have prepared adequately. The team in Japan will make regular contact during the process of arranging your programme so that you arrive in Japan with a clear itinerary and clear objectives. After the mission, we will help you to follow up on your meetings and can also advise you on your next steps.


• Advice on one-to-one meeting requirements from the Technology team in Japan

• Pre-mission publicity in Japan

• Round table workshop with prominent guests from Japanese digital games/content companies business such as leading publishers/developers for consulate games, mobile games, venture capitals, banks, game analysts and licensing experts etc.

• Network reception with Japanese digital games and media companies at the British Embassy in Tokyo

• Exhibitor Pass for Tokyo Game Show(TGS) on Business

• Free access to meeting space dedicated to participants adjacent to TGS venue

• 1-2-1 meetings arrangements on request from Japanese companies

• Advice on quality interpreters for meetings

• Once back in the UK, a post mission debrief on next steps.

Participation in this mission has a charge of £780

(excluding VAT)


Travel grants for mission delegates who are new to exporting may be available through your local International Trade Team based throughout England. The devolved administrations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales may also be able to provide support. To locate your nearest team, please visit or call +44 (0)20 7215 8000.


Delegates will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, accommodation and subsistence. UKTI will provide bespoke services to participants such as meetings arrangements or company calls through Overseas Market Introduction Services (OMIS), which is a chargeable service. It will take time to set up meetings and let us know if you are interested in using this service.

Tokyo Game Show will take place at the Makuhari Messe, which is located in Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo. It will take 1 – 1.5 hour from central Tokyo by train. However, it is suggested you stay at a hotel in Tokyo to commute to the TGS venue on Thursday and Friday (not many hotels near the venue).


Please apply for this visit by filling the form from the following URL.


This is the base programme, individual meetings based on your requirements can be built into the programme.

Monday 17 September (or earlier) – bank holiday

Arrive at Tokyo, Japan

Tuesday 18 September (Tokyo)

Location: The British Embassy Tokyo


Mission briefing

- Japan briefing

- Licensing issues on digital content/games in Japan

Networking lunch with invited speakers

Afternoon: Round table Workshop

- Open discussion with invited guests from Japanese digital content/games industry; publisher/developers of console and mobile games, game analysts, venture capitalists, licensing experts etc

Networking reception at the Embassy

- Networking with leading Japanese digital content/games businesses

- Presentation opportunity during the reception

Wednesday 19 September

Group visit to Japanese digital games companies (such as SCE and or DeNA/GREE – tbc)

Own programme after/before the group visit: eg)

Visit to Akihabara(electronics town), Shibuya, Shinjuku etc to see Japanese sub-culture and Fish market in Tsukiji(early in the morning) – will suggest some options

Thursday 20 September

Visit TGS and one-to-one meetings on requests from Japanese companies or arranged by OMIS service /own arrangement

TGS reception – tbc

Friday 21 September

Visit TGS or own arrangements

Saturday 22 September

Depart to UK

Should you have any questions, please contact

Etsuo Watanabe:,


The deadline for registering for the mission is 31 July 2012.

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