Elon Musk Arrives in Japan for First Visit in Nine Years

(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk has arrived in Japan for his first known visit in nine years.

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The chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday local time that he had just arrived in “amazing” Japan.

The last time the world’s richest person visited the island nation was in 2014 to finalize an agreement with Panasonic Holdings Corp. to build a battery factory in the US.

On Friday morning, he posted a series of short videos from TeamLab, an interactive art exhibit in Tokyo.

It’s his second trip to Asia this year after he visited China for the first time in three years. While there, he met with top government officials and paid a late night visit to Tesla’s Shanghai factory.

Japan’s biggest carmakers have fallen behind dedicated EV makers like Tesla and China’s BYD Co. in the push to electrify. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest car manufacturer, has pledged to sell 1.5 battery EVs annually by 2026. Tesla delivered almost 890,000 cars in the first half of this year.

However, that growth has come at a cost, with Tesla slashing prices in its key markets. Musk last month said the automaker would have to keep cutting prices if interest rates continue to rise. Tesla lowered prices twice this week in China, fueling concerns of a reignited price war in the world’s biggest auto market.

A spokesperson for Japan’s transport ministry said they weren’t aware of any events planned with Musk.

Musician Grimes, who dated and had two children with Musk before they split in 2022, is scheduled to play a DJ set at Sonic Mania in Chiba, near Tokyo, on Friday night. Musk and Grimes were spotted in Portofino, Italy last month, and were reported to be staying at the same hotel, though they weren’t seen together, the Daily Mail said.

(Adds comment from transport ministry in eighth paragraph.)

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