The Industrial Cluster Policy aims to enhance the competitiveness of Japan through industrial clusters (the state where industries are agglomerated in broad areas with competitively advantageous industries as the core through the development of a business environment in which new businesses are created one after another) formed by local small- and medium-sized companies and venture businesses utilizing seeds from universities and other research institutions.
First Term(2001-2005)Industrial Cluster Launch Period
The national government played a central role in moving the industrial Cluster Project forward, based on the state of existing clusters and policy needs. It launched some 20 Industrial Cluster Projects and worked in collaboration with the clusters developed autonomously by local governments, forming "networks in which each face is visible" to serve as the foundations for industrial clusters
Second Term(2006-2010)Industrial Cluster Development Period
The plan calls for continuing to foster network formation while also developing specific businesses. At the same time, the plan promotes the reforms in corporate management and the creation of start-up companies. Implementation is flexible, with specific projects reviewed and new projects launched as needed.
Third Term(2011-2020)Industrial Cluster Autonomous Growth Period
While further promoting the formation of networks and the development of specific businesses, the plan calls for industrial cluster activities to achieve financial independence and autonomous growth.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has promoted 18 projects (as of fiscal 2009) based on the Industrial Cluster Plan starting from fiscal 2001 through close partnership between METI's regional Bureaus and private promotion organizations. Because the project has shifted to the autonomous growth period (actually since fiscal 2010), the activities are currently carried out as region-driven clusters mainly led by private organizations and local governments.
In addition, among the autonomous efforts around the country, areas regarded as worthy of special reinforcement for ensuring the international competitiveness of Japan shall be provided with priority assistance through intensive resource input and the promotion of partnerships.
METI will continue seeking the creation of new businesses by using networks among clusters across the country and the know-how of METI's regional Bureaus.