British labels will embark later this month on a second fact-finding mission to Japan in an endeavor to carve out business opportunities in the world's second biggest record market.

British labels will embark later this month on a second fact-finding mission to Japan in an endeavor to carve out business opportunities in the world's second biggest record market.

Executives from roughly 30 labels will attend a series of seminars and networking opportunities from July 29-August 4. Dance labels Moshi Moshi, Ninja Tune and Warp Record are among the visiting party.

The initiative is spearheaded by trade group the British Phonographic Industry and U.K. Trade and Investment, an organization the U.K. government established to foster international trade. The UKTI is offering grant funding, which the BPI will administer to about half the attending companies.

"I think particularly with a territory like Japan, it is important to keep going back and developing those relationships and making sure there's a consistent flow of product," comments BPI international manager Matt Glover, who is in charge of the mission.

A mixture of Japanese importers, distribution companies, major and independent labels, new media and press will attend the networking sessions. Representatives from HMV, Tower, Fuji Pacific, Sony, Avex, and Toys Factory are among those taking part.

HMV will also collaborate on a four-month retail promotion, which kicks off to coincide with the Fuji Rock festival in August and runs to the Christmas lead-up. Through the campaign, HMV Japan will stock a free U.K.-focused music magazine and sampler across its chain of 50 stores; a dedicated British music point of sale area will also feature.

Glover adds that the BPI is "absolutely" planning to repeat the mission on a regular basis.

The UKTI was also a key partner in the May 16 launch of AIM's office in China. It has been closely involved with the recent launch of British independent labels body Assn. of Independent Music's dedicated office in China, and with a separate AIM-led mission to the United States.