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METI to Hold “Regional Business Conference in Sendai”

- Event for attracting overseas direct investment in the region of Japan -

October 31, 2019

From November 11 (Mon.) to 15 (Fri.), 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Sendai City will jointly hold a conference titled “Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Sendai,” inviting representatives of overseas companies. This conference aims to convey information on the attractive business environments in Sendai City to the world and also to encourage overseas companies to directly invest in the region in the fields of disaster prevention and reduction of the impact of disasters.

1. Purpose

Triggered by Japan’s hosting of international events, such as the G20 meetings, the Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan is expected to attract more and more international attention, in particular, in 2020. Taking these opportunities and setting the time goal at 2020, METI has been advancing efforts for encouraging municipalities to convey information on attractive business environments in their regions to the rest of the world so as to encourage other countries to directly invest in such regions.

As one of the efforts to this end, between 2018 and 2020, METI and JETRO will sequentially hold a series of RBC projects. In these projects, they and municipalities that are proactive in attracting overseas companies to their regions will collaboratively invite to Japan such companies that are highly interested in investment in such regions, heads or other officials of municipalities will make presentations on their attractiveness to overseas companies as a sales representative of the respective municipalities, and business matching and other events between overseas and regional companies will be held.

METI hereby announces that METI, JETRO and Sendai City will jointly hold a “Regional Business Conference in Sendai.”

2. Details of the RBC in Sendai

Sendai City is a municipality designated as a Role Model City of the Making Cities Resilient by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR-currently UNDRR) after the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. In addition, in March 2015, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in the city and member countries adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a collection of guidelines for efforts that global society should achieve for disaster prevention by 2030. Against this backdrop, the city has been requested to play a leading role in advancing international efforts in the fields of disaster prevention and reduction of the impact of disasters.

Aiming to accelerate the creation of new industries involving the fields, in which ICT and drones are utilized, through an open-innovation approach, the RBC in Sendai will invite representatives of eight Finnish ICT companies (see the Appendix) and will provide: a presentation by the Mayor of Sendai City as a sales representative of the municipality, a business matching event between the invited companies and related companies and research institutes in the region, and a hackathon* focusing on the subject of combination of the fields of disaster prevention and reduction of the impact of disasters and ICT technologies.

*Note: The term “hackathon,” a term made up of “hack and marathon,” refers to a competition in which entries compete against each other in intensively developing new programs or designing new services for a certain period of time to finally create outstanding skills and ideas.

3. Announcement of a Seminar on Business Exchange with Cutting-edge ICT Companies in the Republic of Finland

Part I of the seminar (from 14:00 to 15:35)
  1. Opening remarks by one of the organizers
    Ms. Koori Kazuko, Mayor, Sendai City
  2. Government’s efforts for encouraging overseas direct investment in Japan
    Ms. Sagara Nozomi, Director-General, Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  3. Keynote speech: Open innovations between Japanese companies and overseas companies
    Mr. Matsutani Takuya, President, Project Nippon Co., Ltd.
  4. Creation of new industries related to disaster prevention through open innovations
    Mr. Endo Kazuo, Director-General, Economy Bureau, Sendai City
  5. Nokia’s efforts for public safety and its joint efforts with Sendai City
    Mr. Okuda Koichiro, Executive Director; Director, Energy, Transport and Public Department, Nokia Solutions and Networks LLC
  6. Toward expansion of the scale of overseas direct investment in Japan
    Mr. Nakajo Kazuya, Executive Vice President, JETRO
Part II of the seminar (from 15:35 to 16:45)
  1. IT industries in Finland
    Ms. Christina Rinne, Senior Advisor for Business Ecosystems and Digitalization, Business Finland
  2. Presentations by eight Finnish companies on their own businesses
Networking event: From 16:55 to 18:00

4. Related material

5. Application website

6. Host municipalities of the FY2019 RBC projects

In addition to Sendai City, the following four municipalities have hosted or will host events under the RBC projects in FY2019.

Subject Schedule
Hokkaido Prefecture: Industries related to tourism and attracting overseas tourists to Japan June 3 to 7, 2019 (finished)
January 14 to 17, 2020
Kyoto City: Pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries July 1 to 3, 2019 (finished)
Yokohama City: Pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries October 8 to 10, 2019 (finished)
GNI*: AI and IoT industries contributing to sophistication of the manufacturing industry October 23 to 26, 2019 (finished)

*Note: The term “GNI” is an acronym for the Greater Nagoya Initiative Center, jointly inaugurated by Aichi Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Mie Prefecture and Nagoya City.


Division in Charge

Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

Related website