The UK and Japan sign a trade co-operation deal paving the way for UK firms to win work on Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup

Zaha Hadid's National Stadium of Japan in Tokyo

The UK and Japan have signed a trade co-operation deal paving the way for UK firms to bid for and work on preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Japanese prime minister Sinzo Abe visited London’s Olympic Park yesterday to sign the memorandum of co-operation.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said the agreement was a “vote of confidence in ability of UK companies to deliver on major projects”.

UK architect Zaha Hadid has already been recruited to design Tokyo’s planned Olympic Stadium (pictured).

UKTI estimates the economic benefit the UK has received so far from the London 2012 Olympics has topped £13bn.

However, UK firm have only won £130m of contracts so far on the Brazil 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games – less than 0.02% of Brazil’s circa £18bn expenditure on staging the two global sporting events.

Trade and investment minister Lord Livingston said: “I am delighted that Japan has signalled that it wants to use UK expertise to help deliver both the Tokyo Olympics and Rugby World Cup.

“The delivery of London 2012 on time and under budget has shown the world that the UK has a significant amount of expertise in staging large scale events.

“Businesses can get in touch with UK Trade and Investment, who can provide support and advice on the opportunities available.”