Lyon promotes itself in Japan
From 1 to 8 October, a Lyon delegation led by Gérard Collomb travelled throughout Japan on a mission to promote the city. On the agenda: a series of summit meetings in the business, high-tech, academic, tourism and gastronomy spheres in the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kyoto and Sendai.
Strengthening institutional and economic ties between Lyon and Japan
As part of his 5th mission to Japan - and little more than a year after his last official visit - Gérard Collomb met Japan’s number 2 government official, Mr. Yoshihide Suga, Chief Secretary of the Cabinet Office. During this meeting, the pair discussed Lyon’s experience in partnerships with the private sector, namely in the field of water and sanitation. Indeed, Japan is highly interested in the contractual relations between French local authorities and the private sector.
Gérard Collomb also received confirmation of Lyon’s special role in Franco-Japanese trade: this position was strengthened with the creation of the Hikari project in partnership with NEDO (the Japanese equivalent of ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) in the Lyon Confluence neighborhood. Mr. Yoshihide Suga mentioned recent discussions with Kengo Kuma (the architect who designed Hikari) on the quality of this project. A meeting was also held during this trip.
During this journey, Gérard Collomb also met the mayor of Yokohama, which has been Lyon’s sister city for over 50 years, providing an opportunity to further strengthen ties between the towns. This shared history, which began in the 19th century with the silk trade, continues today through the development of partnerships in the high-tech field.
Enhancing business relations between Lyon and Japan
During this trip, Lyon also shined in front of a number of leaders of major Japanese groups including Daikin Industries, Toray, Yamaha Motors, Toshiba, Riso and Nippon Rika Vincent Industrie, which have all chosen to set up in the Lyon area, illustrating in a concrete, powerful way the trusting relationships between Japan and Lyon.
Several Lyon start-ups also took part in the trip. Indeed, Lyon is a particularly dynamic city in this arena, with the “Lyon French Tech” label confirming the city’s position as a strategic location for the digital revolution in France.
The TUBA – the “Urban Experimentation Tube” dedicated to the city of tomorrow based in Lyon’s Part-Dieu neighborhood - signed a bilateral cooperation agreement in Osaka with Japan’s Knowledge Capital group in order to further the economic growth of young French and Japanese companies while developing joint innovation and “Smart City” projects.
Spotlight on the Cité de la Gastronomie
The Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie, a flagship project for the Lyon metropolitan area slated to open in late 2018 within the walls of the Grand Hôtel Dieu, was the focus of two press conferences in Tokyo and Osaka led by the Senator-Mayor of Lyon and President of Lyon Metropole.
In Tokyo, over 60 journalists attended the presentation of the future Cité de la Gastronomie, with the support of Mr. Tsuji, who was on hand to represent the hospitality school of the same name, which is as prestigious in Japan as Institut Bocuse is in France. Other guests of honor included Christophe Paucod, a Michelin-starred Lyon chef who heads the Le Lugdunum bouchon in Tokyo, and Sébastien Bouillet, a Lyon chocolate maker who has opened several shops in Tokyo.
During their talks, they proudly flew the colors of Lyon’s gastronomy know-how.
The press conference was followed by a cocktail for journalists, along with a traditional Lyon meal cooked up by Christophe Paucod, served with Beaujolais wines from our partner Agamy.
The ONLYLYON networking event, held in partnership with the Franco-Japanese Chamber of Commerce, brought together nearly 400 decision makers from Japan and Lyon on the topic of the Cité de la Gastronomie and close relationships between Lyon and Japan.
Innovation and industry
An official meeting was held in Tokyo with Japanese firm RISO focusing on sustainable development and curbing environmental impact. This is one of the major commitments made by RISO, a supplier to #COP22, the world summit on environmental issues.
Academic links between Lyon and Tokyo
The official academic delegation from Lyon met with Mr. Satomi, President of the University of Tohoku in Sendai. Together, they opened the 1st international laboratory created within this university, the Elyt-MaX unit, which brings together Franco-Japanese teams studying materials and systems subjected to extreme conditions. During this visit, partnership agreements with several Lyon higher education institutions (INSA, ENS Lyon and Université Claude Bernard) were also renewed.
Franco-Japanese trade has grown and consolidated over the centuries, enabling the Capital of the Gauls to now stand out as a favorite destination for Japanese investors and tourists, who consider France’s 2nd-largest city as a trusted region for innovation. Lyon is home to France’s 2nd-largest community of Japanese citizens, after Paris.