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Vibrant HABATAKU Small and Medium Enterprises 300 and HABATAKU Shopping Districts 30 Selected

The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency selected Vibrant HABATAKU Small and Medium Enterprises 300 and HABATAKU Shopping Districts 30 for FY2018. The selected small and medium enterprises were found superior in various fields, including enacting productivity enhancements through the introduction of IT services and effective use of managerial resources, active overseas business expansion and acquisition of inbound demand, and utilization of diverse human resources and smooth transitions of business succession. The selected shopping districts are recognized for their contribution to the revitalization and development of local communities through supporting the lives of local residents by making full use of their creativity and ingenuity in accordance with the characteristics and needs of respective regions.

SMEs, which account for 99% of all businesses in Japan, support local economies and employment and are the sources of Japan's international competitiveness and economic vitality. Shopping districts, which support the lives of local residents, play a key role as attractions and aid in vitalizing local economies.

On the other hand, traditional SMEs with specialized skills often face difficulties in expanding into new lines of business, responding to intensifying global competition, or continuing a business after a succession or other change in ownership and struggle to secure labor.

With the aim of encouraging businesses to solve these problems, 300 SMEs whose initiatives were found to be superior in the fields of productivity enhancement, acquisition of demand, and securing of employees were selected as Vibrant HABATAKU Small and Medium Enterprises this year. Additionally, 30 shopping districts engaging in effective initiatives in the fields of acquisition of inbound demand, local cooperative activities, favorable metabolism, and productivity enhancement were selected as HABATAKU Shopping Districts.

Broadly disseminating initiatives of these selected businesses will not only enhance their social recognition and encourage their employees, but will also motivate other businesses to make their own efforts.

The selection was made at the Committee on SME Business Support of the Council for Small and Medium Enterprise Policy, based on impartial examinations by external experts led by Mr. Tsuyoshi Numagami (Vice-president and Director, Hitotsubashi University) and Mr. Junzo Ishii (Director, Institute of Marketing and Distribution Sciences), from among candidates recommended by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Central Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry, National Federation of Small Business Associations, National Association of Shinkin Banks, National Central Society of Credit Cooperatives, National Federation of Shopping Center Promotion Associations, Japan Shopping District Support Center, Japan Finance Corporation, Shoko Chukin Bank, Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN, Japan External Trade Organization, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, foreign embassies and consulates, and Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency has created and publicized a leaflet introducing the initiatives of the businesses and shopping districts that were selected as this year's award winners.


The leaflet is available on the following website.

Release date

March 26, 2018

Divisions in Charge

  • Technology and Innovation Division, Business Support Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
  • Retail and Wholesale Commerce Division, Business Support Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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