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Canada announces closer collaboration with Japan

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As allies and partners, Canada and Japan share common values and interests reinforced by close cultural and economic ties. Our shared commitment to a rules-based international order, and to invest in growth that benefits everyone, advance gender equality, combat violent extremism, fight climate change, and work towards a safer and more peaceful world, will form the basis of stronger and deeper bilateral relations.

Bilateral relationship and people-to-people ties

Strong people-to-people ties are a cornerstone of Canada and Japan’s bilateral relations, reinforced by 25 friendship associations and 73 sister city and province relationships. In its 30 years, approximately 10,000 Canadians have participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme teaching English or working in government offices across Japan. Canada is also a popular study destination for Japanese students. In fact, Japan is Canada’s second largest source country for language students, with over 20,500 attending in 2017. Tourism is also strong between Canada and Japan with over 300,000 Japanese tourists visiting Canada annually.

Canadian and Japanese companies have a long history of cooperation. Over the past 10 years, Japanese companies have invested over $10 billion USD and helped create almost 12,000 jobs in Canada. Similarly, Canadian companies have invested over $3 billion USD in Japan and helped create almost 2,500 jobs in the country. Through the Invest in Canada and the Japan External Trade Organization Memorandum of Cooperation, we will further strengthen this relationship in the coming years.

In addition, we are announcing $8.8 million CAD to support innovation, and international market development, which will also lead to the creation of close to 300 good well-paying jobs in Canada.

Peace and security cooperation

Canada and Japan are united in their commitment to protect and advance the international rules-based order, and cooperate closely on peace and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region. Both countries are deeply concerned by the threat posed by North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, and are working to address these issues in the G7 context, including in the G7+ DPRK Sanctions Contact Group and the Non-Proliferation Directors Group.

Canada and Japan are also jointly participating in a multinational initiative to counter North Korean maritime sanctions evasion. Canada’s decision to renew its participation in this initiative—under the newly-established Operation NEON—demonstrates our commitment to being a reliable security partner in the region. As part of this initiative, military assets are periodically deployed to the region, alongside partners and allies, to monitor sanctions evasion, including maritime smuggling via ship-to-ship transfers. These efforts bolster the United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea, in support of a peaceful and diplomatic solution.

Should North Korea follow through on its commitment to denuclearize, any durable deal will require robust international verification. Canada is therefore providing a grant of $2 million CAD—from its Weapons Threat Reduction Program to the International Atomic Energy Agency—to enhance the Agency’s readiness to verify denuclearization activities in North Korea.

On April 21, 2018, Canada and Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which will facilitate cooperation between Canadian and Japanese forces. The ACSA is expected enter into force for both Canada and Japan in 2019.


As Canada’s fourth largest export destination, Japan is a market of key interest, notably in the agriculture, agri-food, energy and forestry sectors.

In 2018, Canada-Japan bilateral trade in goods totalled $32 billion, up 9.2 per cent from 2017. Canadian exports are expected to continue to grow with the entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), notably in sectors that benefit from tariff reductions such as agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, industrial goods and machinery, and forest and value-added wood products.

In May 2019, AltaGas will officially open the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal in British Columbia. This project will help position Canada as a global supplier of clean and low cost energy. Japan’s Astomos Energy Corporation played a pivotal role in this project through its commitment to purchase 50 per cent of the 1.2 million tonnes of propane to be shipped from the Terminal each year. This initiative created more than 200 jobs during the construction phase and, once operational, will provide up to 40 additional permanent well-paying jobs for the local economy. Through strong partnerships with local First Nations and community stakeholders, this project has delivered on its promise to train and hire locally. The Government of Canada welcomes this export facility as part of its commitment to support energy security needs globally, diversify export markets for our natural resources sector, and strengthen our energy relationship with Japan and other partners in the shift to a clean energy future.

Japan represents a key market for the Canadian forest sectorwith a well-established history of partnership and investment for mutual benefit. Through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities program, Canada is ensuring that we tap into key offshore markets and that Canadian wood is used in new, green, innovative ways. The program also ensures that market diversification and development activities continue to promote good, well-paying, middle-class jobs, and grow Canada’s natural resource advantage. As stated in Budget 2019, Canada is providing more than $3 million for market development activities in Japan. These activities include research and development, technical seminars, marketing campaigns and funding for in-market technical experts to deliver on market access and development programs on behalf of Canadian industry. This funding is in addition to the Government of British Columbia and industry investment totalling $2.5 million, including contributions to the Canada Wood Group, Council of Forest Industries, BC Wood Specialties Group, Quebec Wood Export Bureau, the APA/Engineered Wood Association and the Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

In addition, we are announcing $8.8 million CAD to support innovation, and international market development, which will also lead to the creation of close to 300 good well-paying jobs in Canada.


The Prime Minister welcomed job-creating foreign direct investment from Japan, as our largest source of foreign direct investment from Asia and sixth largest globally. The following recent new Japanese investments and expansions in Canada were also noted.

In April 2019, FUJIFILM Canada Inc. launched a new medical systems division to sell and market its diagnostic imaging solutions across Canada. To that end, FUJIFILM Canada Inc. will continue its 50-year long relationship with Christie Innomed, a Canadian company that develops, distributes, integrates and supports innovative medical imaging and health information management solutions to improve Canadian healthcare and will expand its Canadian sales workforce.


Mitsubishi Corporation holds a 15 per cent share in the $40 billion CAD LNG Canada project, the largest private infrastructure investment in Canada’s history, with the lowest carbon intensity of any large-scale LNG project in the world.

Artificial Intelligence

Mitsubishi Corporation is investing $5.8 million CAD to Vancouver-based Spare, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled platform for on-demand mobility and smart transportation networks. The two companies, in collaboration with Nishitetsu, will test a commercial AI-controlled on-demand-bus transit service in Fukuoka, Japan, a multi-year project expected to create over 20 good, well-paying jobs in Canada. With this collaboration, Spare and Mitsubishi Corporation will be well positioned for significant growth in the multi-billion dollar market for next generation, shared mobility services in Japan.

Fujitsu, a world-leading information and communications technology company, opened its global AI headquarters, Fujitsu Intelligence Technology, in Vancouver, British Columbia with 20 employees initially and expects to hire up to 200 people globally by 2020—of which approximately 50 will be in Canada—to deliver emerging technologies to serve global customers and high-growth markets around the world.

DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today, announced the opening of a research and development (R&D) laboratory in Montreal. This new initiative will create high-value engineering positions in the Greater Montreal region and will support DENSO's overall global R&D activity. DENSO has had a presence in Mississauga and Guelph for 46 years, and the Montreal office is its first AI-focused office in Canada.

Gaming and Entertainment

The two Canadian studios of video game developer Square Enix Inc., Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, represent together nearly 700 well-paying jobs, the group's largest development units outside of Japan. The group plans to continue to create jobs for Canadians over the next five years. In 2019, the group will finance the expansion and renovation of its facilities, and will create more than 100 additional jobs.

CyberConnect2, a Fukuoka-based home-use game development company, opened its first overseas studio in Montreal in May 2017. The company will almost double its Montreal office workforce, by creating 20 well-paying jobs in the next year, bringing the total to 50 employees. In fall of 2019, CyberConnect2 plans to release its first game, in which the Montreal office has played a large developmental role.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) established MHI Canada Aerospace, Inc. (MHICA) in 2006. Since its establishment, MHICA’s business has grown and its workforce has increased to roughly 800 people. The company is now recognized as one of the biggest aerostructure companies in Canada. MHICA is the sole production facility for MHI’s aerospace business in North America, and the company is preparing for the expansion of future business opportunities in Canada.


In March 2019, Japan’s Kubota Corporation announced a long-term original equipment manufacturer deal with Winnipeg manufacturer Buhler Industries for the development and production capabilities of a new series of tractors. Buhler’s expertise and position in the tractor market makes the company the ideal match for the growth of Kubota’s business in North America. The result of this agreement is an increase in production at the factory in Winnipeg, which will bring additional stability to the supply chain and employees. Buhler currently has over 1,000 employees.


The Memorandum of Understanding between the National Research Council of Canada and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International of Japan will facilitate research and development collaboration and co-innovation for Canadian and Japanese firms and organizations. The agreement focuses on technology areas of mutual interest to both countries, such as robotics, neuroscience, mobility, and the web.

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