Advantage West Midlands chief executive John Edwards has visited the Japanese headquarters of a series of West Midlands-based companies as part of a trade visit to encourage more companies to invest in the region.
The West Midlands is already home to 120 Japanese companies employing more than 13,000 people and Japan was ranked second behind the USA for investment into the UK last year.
During the five-day visit, Mr Edwards met with senior bosses from Denso which has three facilities in the region in Telford, Birmingham and Coventry, employing a total of more than 2,300 staff.
He also met with representatives from Yamazaki Mazak, the world's largest machine tool manufacturer, which has its European HQ in Worcester, employing more than 350 staff, and Fujitsu, which employs 750 staff at its base on Birmingham Business Park.
Mr Edwards also met with David Blume, president of Jaguar Japan, to discuss issues around the Japanese automotive industry.
The region has had a presence in Tokyo since 1984 and, since 1998, the regional development agency has had an office there in partner-ship with the East Midlands Development Agency under the British Midlands banner.
Advantage West Midlands is constantly involved in working to secure global investment with companies across the world and has a network of offices in the USA (Chicago, Boston, Washington DC and San Jose), Japan, India, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium. During the visit, Mr Edwards met with investment chiefs based in Japan and also took the opportunity to speak with the Japanese media about the benefits of investment in the West Midlands.
Mr Edwards said: "This visit was an opportunity not only to thank Japanese companies for their investment in our region, but also to give the message that the Midlands is the right place to invest.
"The West Midlands has the right infrastructure to attract top companies from Japan especially our excellence in research and development and high-value added manufacturing.
"Over recent weeks we have seen a number of high-profile announce-ments about global companies attracted to our region for research and development - this is no accident and is clearly something we are eager to build on.
"Investment in research and development over recent years really is beginning to bear fruit now and our inward investment team is constantly working to sell these benefits to companies all over the world.
"Indeed, in October, Doctor Paul Jennings from the Warwick Manufacturing Group will be visiting Japan to showcase world-class technologies being developed there in areas such as vehicle simulation.
"Denso, Fujitsu and Yamazaki Mazak are all Japanese-owned companies which are proud to be located in the West Midlands and we in turn are grateful to them for their contribution to our economy."