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New Municipalities Subject to the Support Program for Regional Foreign Direct Investment in Japan Determined (Kanagawa Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture)

- A program for supporting regional areas of Japan in attracting overseas companies -

October 30, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) have been advancing the Support Program for Regional Foreign Direct Investment in Japan (hereinafter referred to as the “support program”) to support municipalities that proactively intend to attract overseas companies by uniting the efforts of all ministries and agencies of the government. METI hereby announces that METI and JETRO newly selected Kanagawa Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture as municipalities to be supported under the support program.

Exercising leadership, METI and JETRO, in collaboration with the selected prefectures, will formulate strategies for attracting overseas companies to the regions by taking advantage of the regions’ strong points and deriving their potentials to the maximum extent possible and will support the regions’ specific activities for attracting overseas companies in accordance with the strategies. Through these efforts, METI and JETRO will encourage overseas companies to directly invest in these regions of Japan.

1. Outline of the support program

It is important for municipalities in Japan that intend to effectively attract overseas companies to their regions to identify their strong points, such as unique industrial clusters, agricultural, forestry and fishery products, and tourism resources, and to connect these strong points with sales channels, technologies, human resources and know-how that overseas companies may have.

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 Regional Foreign Direct Investment in Japan (secretariat: METI and JETRO), aiming to: advance efforts for attracting 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 25 successful municipalities to be supported under the support program so far and they supported the selected municipalities in formulating strategies taking advantage of regional strong points and in advancing specific activities for attracting overseas companies.

2. Outline of Kanagawa Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture as the successful municipalities

Kanagawa Prefecture

Kanagawa Prefecture has been proactively deploying measures for attracting companies, e.g., subsidy programs and tax breaks, since 2004 in order to further attract companies inside and outside Japan to the prefecture, and it boasts an achievement of 120 successful cases in total in attracting overseas companies to the prefecture as of the end of March 2019. Taking advantage of the support program and as part of its measure for attracting companies, titled “Select Kanagawa Next,” the prefecture will deploy strategic and practical activities for attracting companies in the industries related to: presymptomatic diseases, robots, energy, tourism and advanced or cutting-edge technologies. Through these campaigns, the prefecture will strive to further vitalize the region and encourage companies to directly invest in Japan.

Okinawa Prefecture

Under its Okinawa 21st Century Vision and other strategies, Okinawa Prefecture has been developing clusters of IT companies, targeting not only companies in Japan but also those in Asian countries, through promoting support measures provided by the IT Innovation and Strategy Center Okinawa and development of information communication networks to connect Okinawa and the Tokyo Metropolitan Area or Asian countries. Taking advantage of regional strong points, in recent years, the prefecture has been advancing efforts aiming at industrial revitalization in the fields of resorts and technology, called “ResorTech,” and these efforts have succeeded in attracting a world-famous online travel agency and other companies to establish their business bases in Okinawa. Through the support program, the prefecture will strive to further accelerate its strategic campaigns for attracting overseas companies in the ResorTech field.

3. References

Division in Charge

Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

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