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Measures to promote foreign direct investment in Japan


Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Japan, attracting high-quality human resources and advanced technologies as well as a large amount of capital from overseas, will lead to the creation of innovations and the inflow of resources from overseas economies into regions across Japan. It, therefore, represents a contribution to the enhancement of Japan’s overall growth potential and reinvigoration of regional economies. One of the most critical issues Japan is facing is a decreasing population, which must be overcome in order to achieve robust growth. For this purpose, it is essential to boldly introduce vitality from overseas through inward FDI.

In 2013, the Japanese Government set a target of “doubling the inward FDI stocks to 35 trillion yen by 2020” as a key performance indicator (KPI). It has been making efforts toward achieving this target such as discovering and attracting foreign companies interested in investment in Japan, improvement of business environment and living conditions for foreign workers in Japan, and providing business matching opportunities for potential collaboration with Japanese companies. As a result, the inward FDI stocks as of December, 2020 amounted to 39.7 trillion yen (confirmed figure), which was well over that target.

Under such circumstances, in the “Strategy for Promotion of Direct Foreign Investment in Japan” (adopted by the Council for Promotion of Direct Foreign Investment in Japan in June, 2021), a new target was set for doubling the inward FDI stocks to 80 trillion yen by 2030.

Act on Promotion to Make Japan an Asian Business Center

The following incentives are applicable to new R&D and headquarters operations conducted in Japan by global companies certified by the competent minister.

  1. Assistance for fund raising (Assistance for fund raising by the Small and Medium Business Investment & Consultation Co., Ltd.)
  2. Acceleration of patent examinations (Acceleration of examinations and proceedings for patent applications)
  3. Shortened investment procedures (Shortened examination period for prior notification for inward direct investment in regulated industries)
  4. Acceleration of status of residency examinations (Acceleration of entry examinations for the Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence applied for by foreign nationals who intend to work in Japan)

Japan Innovation Bridge (J-Bridge)

J-Bridge is a business platform to facilitate collaboration or alliances between Japanese companies and overseas startups/businesses. JETRO coordinators based in both Japan and foreign countries are to support business tie-ups and relevant negotiations.

Support Program for the FDI in the Regions of Japan

It is effective for municipalities of Japan that intend to attract overseas companies to their regions to identify their strengths, such as unique industrial clusters, agriculture, forestry and fishery products and tourism resources, and to connect these strengths with sales channels, technologies, human resources and know-how of overseas companies.

In May 2018, the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, a body organized by the government, held a meeting and decided to implement the support program for the FDI in the regions of Japan (secretariat: METI and JETRO), aiming to advance efforts to attract overseas companies to regional areas of Japan in a strategic manner by taking advantage of the uniqueness of such areas; and, to this end, support municipalities in developing their strategies and encourage them to effectively make use of related measures and advance specific activities for attracting overseas companies in accordance with the strategies by uniting the efforts of all ministries and agencies of the government. METI and JETRO have selected 31 successful municipalities to be supported under the support program so far and they are supporting the selected municipalities in formulating strategies that take advantage of regional strengths and in advancing specific activities for attracting overseas companies.

Regional Business Conference (RBC)

Since FY 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has been promoting the attractive business environments of various regions throughout Japan toward the rest of the world and implementing the RBC (Regional Business Conference) project with the aim of facilitating direct investment in such regions by foreign and foreign-affiliated companies.

Division in Charge

Trade and Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

Last updated:2022-11-11