Octopus Energy urges British companies to invest in Japan amid new Trans-Pacific deal


THE founder of Octopus Energy has urged more British companies to invest in Japan, just days after Britain signed a new Trans-Pacific trade deal. 

Greg Jackson hailed the pact as a “win-win situation” — despite gloomy estimates that it will add less than one per cent to UK GDP in a decade.

This Octopus logo artwork mimics famous Japanese painting The Great Wave, with a tea-drinking British corgi in tow

The founder of Octopus Energy has urged more British companies to invest in Japan – pictured the Tokyo Gas plant

He said: “Just like how Margaret Thatcher revived the British car industry in the 1980s with Nissan, Honda and Toyota and created good jobs in Britain and an export market for Japanese companies, so we can look forward to new kind of relationships with Asia.”

Julia Longbottom, the British ambassador to Japan, said at a briefing in Tokyo there were huge benefits for British companies — particularly in energy, financial services and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Octopus Energy has been in Japan for the past three years.

It initially secured a $200million investment from Tokyo Gas — which boasts an underground power plant in the Japanese capital that uses a mix of energy sources to heat and cool buildings.

It now has over 160,000 Octopus Japan household customers after adding 10,000 a week.

Mr Jackson said he would “love to see” more UK firms doing similar.

Octopus has also signed a seven-figure investment in a Japanese firm, Yotsuya Capital, to build new solar farms on abandoned golf courses across the region.

Japan is the world’s biggest competitive energy market after electricity monopolies were shaken up in 2016 in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Octopus Energy has further ambitions for international expansion, including in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the US, Australia and New Zealand, as well as looking to fill “gaping holes” in the South Asian and African energy markets “in the next year or two”.

“If it works in Japan, it can work anywhere,” said Hajime Nakamura, CEO of Octopus Energy Japan.


MANCHESTER is the best place for new jobs in Britain.

The northern city has 338 average monthly job postings per 10,000 local workers over the past three years, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of recruitment sites.

London has the most job vacancies but it slides down to 21st when pegged against the number of postings per local worker.

Manchester is followed by Cambridge, Reading, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Leeds, Nottingham and Peterborough for the highest concentration of job postings per local worker. 

Birkenhead, Gillingham, Sutton Coldfield, Southend-on-Sea and Hull have the lowest concentration of posts.

Experts said this was because residents typically commute to nearby bigger cities where there are most jobs.


LORD Sugar has cashed in a multimillion-pound profit from his investment in a company set up by a losing finalist on The Apprentice. 

Sugar, 76, took a 50 per cent stake in Susie Ma’s Tropic Skincare brand for £200,000 in 2011, despite her finishing third on the BBC hit that year.

Lord Sugar has cashed in a multimillion-pound profit from his investment in Susie Ma’s Tropic Skincare brand

Tropic Skincare, which Ms Ma founded after selling body scrubs at a market in London, made £90.6million of sales in 2021 and £10.5million profits.

Lord Sugar said: “When I first met Susie, I saw a unique grit and determination.

“It’s now the right time to allow Susie to take the company to new heights.”

Ms Ma said it was always her ambition to retake full control of the business but that she will “always be so grateful” for Lord Sugar’s investment.

Last month, gym-owner Marnie Swindells won Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment in The Apprentice’s 17th series.


CINEWORLD has scrapped the sale of its UK and US operations, instead opting for a debt-restructuring plan that will still wipe out shareholders.

Shares in the cinema chain tumbled by a third yesterday after it announced a deal to exit US bankruptcy protection.

It now has a market value of just £26million but around £8billion of debt.

As part of the overhaul, Cineworld wants to raise another £2billion. The pandemic-ravaged firm filed for bankruptcy in September. 


THE long-awaited sell-down of taxpayers’ 41.5 per cent stake in NatWest has been delayed by two years due to jitters in the banking sector.

The Government ploughed £45.5billion into its bailout of the then Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008.

The Treasury has been drip-feeding shares in to the market but said yesterday it will consider selling more shares only when it means “value for money”.

The sector has been hit by the collapse of US tech lender Silicon Valley Bank and the rescue of Credit Suisse.


CAPITA is the latest company to admit falling victim to a cyber attack after a major IT outage over the weekend. 

The attack blocked staff and clients from emails, virtual meetings and spreadsheets. 

The company, which runs operations for the NHS and the military, said it had worked hard over the weekend to restore access.

But a spokesperson stressed that no customer data had been compromised.

Royal Mail, Go-Ahead and JD Sports have also been hacked in recent months.