The glaring omission in Cameron's Asian tour

Prime Minister David Cameron meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

David Cameron arrived in Tokyo today. There was celebration at Nissan's investment in north-east England, historic arms deals being signed and the gift of a British-made bike to the Japanese Prime Minister. A rare example of something the UK makes being shipped east.

ITV News Senior Political Correspondent Chris Ship travelled to Tokyo with David Cameron.

The truth is, our trade with Asia is not huge. UK exports to China are just over 2 percent of the total. Perhaps not surprising when China makes so much of what we use.

So when Downing Street says that the Prime Minister visiting other countries makes trade leap by 20 percent what that means in China's case is a rise of 0.4 percent - doesn't sound so good now.

But there will, of course, be no leap in exports to China because David Cameron isn't coming during this tour of the far east. He wanted to, he asked Beijing if he could, but the Chinese said no, according to diplomatic sources.

The Dalai Lama Credit: REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli

The visit by the Dalai Lama to London this coming June hasn't impressed the leaders of the world's second largest economy. That's not to say Britain should be cutting links with those China dislikes, but it may be a reason why the Chinese are cool on Britannia right now.

Also since the British Government asked for an investigation into the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, both leaders may have been dreading the thought of a joint press conference and being asked about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Neil Heywood

How Irish eyes must be smiling. The Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently welcomed Xi Jinping - the Chinese president-in-waiting - to the Emerald Isle earlier this year. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kenny was a guest of honour here in Bejing a couple of weeks ago. It seems Kenny is Canny.

The UK has always considered itself a gateway to the EU for the Chinese. Could Ireland be about to be the route to the world's largest marketplace? After all, China and Ireland can both bond over their shared colonial experiences.

Today in Tokyo David Cameron looks as if he's in the right region, but blocked by Beijing.

More on this story