City of Brampton concludes successful mission to Japan and the Philippines 

January 23, 2024

City of Brampton Mission to Japan

Led by Regional Councillor Rowena Santos, Vice Chair of Economic Development, the mission – Brampton’s first all women mission – took place January 15 to 22, 2024. 

With stops in Tokyo and Manila, the mission focused on investment attraction in innovation and technology, business retention and expansion and promotion of Brampton’s Innovation District.


Brampton is home to many Japanese companies, including Muro, Asahi Refinery, Yusen Logistics and Canon. 

While in Tokyo, the Brampton delegation visited Canon’s global headquarters, where it learned about the company’s advancements in MedTech and SpaceTech.  

With more than 900 employees, Canon Canada is headquartered in Brampton and recently celebrated its 50th year in Canada.  

“In 2016, as President and CEO of Canon Canada, I selected the site for our new Canadian headquarters. I was pleased to host the City of Brampton at our headquarters in Tokyo to discuss how their economy has grown and Canon’s location amongst Canada’s corporate leaders, such as Loblaw, MDA, and Medtronic.”

– Kazuto “Kevin” Ogawa, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Global Executive, Canon Inc.,  

The delegation was well received at Tokyo’s Centre for Real Estate and Innovation (CREI), located inside the University of Tokyo.  

Like Brampton with its downtown Innovation District, Tokyo has a burgeoning startup ecosystem. Both Brampton’s Innovation District and the CREI are members of the Global Institute of Innovation Districts.  

The City’s delegation also visited Tokyo’s Innovation Base and held an event with Founder Institute Tokyo for over 100 startups at Shibuya Startup. 

Meetings were held with important partners such as the City of Ota, Ontario’s Investment and Trade Office, the Embassy of Canada, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce.  

Clockwise from bottom left: Kazuto “Kevin” Ogawa, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Canon; Jasmine Danial, Coordinator, Innovation and Technology, City of Brampton; Clare Barnett, Director, Economic Development Office, City of Brampton; Takeshi Morkiawa, Senior General Manager, Canon; Rowena Santos, Vice Chair, Economic Development and Regional Councillor Wards 1 and 5, City of Brampton. 

The itinerary included meetings with important women leaders in academia and politics in Japan, including Professor Mari Muira, a leading political scientist and researcher on gender and equity at Sophia University, and Satoko Kishimoto, Mayor of Suginami City, Tokyo. 

The Philippines

While in Manila, the mission team met with the Cities of Manila, Makati, Quezon and Marikina.  

“As the Chairman of International Relations for the City Council of Manila, it was a pleasure to welcome the City of Brampton to Manila City Hall and greet them on behalf of Mayor “Honey” Lacuna-Pagan. A special visit from Regional Councillor Rowena Santos, the first Filipina elected to Brampton’s City Council, on an economic development mission to launch our connections.”

– Numero G. Lim, Councillor District 2, City Council of Manila and Chairman of International Relations.  

Brampton and Marikina have a longstanding friendship agreement and are now focusing on advancing an economic development relationship.  

Brampton is looking forward to hosting some of these cities during Filipino Heritage Month in June.  

The City met with the Department of Trade and Industry to discuss collaboration to support startups, and with the QBO Innovation Hub, a network of entrepreneurs, innovators and investors.  

In partnership with BHive, Brampton hosted an event for international startups interested in expanding to Brampton to access the North American market. 

From left: Clare Barnett, Director, Economic Development Office, City of Brampton; Rowena Santos, Vice Chair, Economic Development and Regional Councillor Wards 1 and 5, City of Brampton; Numero G. Lim, Councillor, City of Manila; Jasmine Danial, Coordinator, Innovation and Technology, City of Brampton. 

We look forward to welcoming startups at the Collision conference in June, where the Invest Brampton team will have a large presence.

Learn more about the City of Brampton’s involvement at Collision 2024.

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About the City of Brampton 

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Brampton is home to 700,000 people and 100,000 businesses. People are at the heart of everything we do. We are energized by our diverse communities, we attract investment, and we are embarking on a journey to lead technological and environmental innovation. We partner for progress to build a healthy city that is safe, sustainable, and successful. Visit to learn more. 

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