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Investing in Japan

Investing in Japan
Regional Information


Your Regional Guide : Kazuhiko Yamamoto

Osaka Pref. Concierge

Investment and Growth Support Division

Sakishima Bld.25F,1-14-16 Nankoukita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka 559-8555
TEL: +81-6-6210-9482   FAX: +81-6-6210-9481


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*Search for business partners in Japan via "Database of candidate partners" in the "General Business Information" section or using TTPP (Trade Tie-up Promotion Program), JETRO's free online business matching database.
*Please note that inquires not regarding investment in Japan may not be answered.
*The information below is as of July 2014.

Biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, life science

(Related sectors: Biotechnology, Healthcare and Welfare)

Attractive features

Osaka is home to a number of world-class research facilities including Osaka University, the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, the Osaka Bioscience Institute and the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation in the northern part of the prefecture, and many major pharmaceutical manufacturers in Osaka City. The presence of these academia and industry contributed to the creation of Osaka's “bio cluster”, a joint academic-government-industry effort centered around the Saito Life Science Park. Also, Osaka is ranked first in Japan in terms of production volume of pharmaceutical products, making it one of the major industrial hubs leading the pharmaceutical industry.

Principal Japanese companies in the industry
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
  • Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.
  • Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Principal foreign companies in the industry
  • AstraZeneca K.K.
  • Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd.
Major education/research institutes of the industry
  • Osaka University is renowned as a leading institution in immunology research, and has produced many world-famous researchers who have excelled in research in the biomedical field. Osaka University also has an abundance of affiliated research institutions working in various fields such as the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Institute for Protein Research, and the Immunology Frontier Research Center. The “Medical Center for Translational Research” which was set up in the advanced medical research hospital, the Osaka University Hospital, is conducting translation research to be applied clinically from its research achievements.

  • Specializing in the provision of support for drug discovery, the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation is responsible for bringing together the basic research being carried out at universities and corporate R&D as well as supporting other research institutions and companies by supplying research funds and resources and so on.

  • The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center develops cutting-edge medical treatment and research for cardiovascular diseases and promotes medical equipment development and commercialization through collaboration between medicine, engineering and private enterprises for the advanced diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Further, the Research and Development Initiative Center was set up in September, 200, enhancing links between basic and clinical study.
Major industry cluster plans, special zones and industry-government-academia collaboration of the industry
  • Centered on the northern part of Osaka (Saito), research and education facilities are clustered in Osaka, such as Osaka University with world-leading biomedical research, the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, and the Osaka Bioscience Institute. Because of the amount of industry–academia–government cooperation carried out, the prefecture has earned a reputation for being one of the most active bio-cluster in Japan. Also, in the Doshomachi District of Osaka City, many pharmaceutical manufacturers including the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, are clustered.
  • Domestic and international partnerships in the fields of drug discovery, and regenerative medicine through the national government's utilization of projects related to clusters. A framework for turning research “seeds” provided by universities and research institutions into feasible businesses under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology's project for the promotion of knowledge-based clusters has been created, and environment to make it easier for foreign researchers to work in North Osaka has been established, under the Biomedical Cluster Special Zone system (due to national expansion, the special zone has now been eliminated). One example of successful commercialization is the granting of a permit to sell Japan's first antibody drug, which was developed from research results attained by Professor Chuzo Kishimoto, former president of Osaka University.

  • Bioindustry promotion throughout Osaka is being advanced in accordance with the “Osaka Bio Strategy”, which is a joint industry, academia and governmental action program. A variety of initiatives are being pursued such as establishing funds and reforming regulations.

  • A memorandum has been executed with bio clusters in Queensland, Shanghai, Flanders, Munich, Minnesota, Pasteur, Shingapore to carry out wide promotion overseas via trade shows such as BIO and BioEurope.

Environment and New Energy

(Related sectors: Environment and Energy (Smart Grid))

Attractive features
  • Kansai is transforming into the world's battery factory with companies involved in environmental and new energy industries clustering in Osaka and the Kansai region, especially the Osaka bay area. A succession of proactive investments on equipment in the battery industry is due to be made in the future, hopefully igniting the vitalization of the industry.

  • Of the lithium-ion battery production amounts worldwide, Kansai has a share of approximately 20%, and accounts for around 80% of the market in Japan. In addition, Kansai's share of solar cell production worldwide is approximately 8%, accounting for about 70% of the Japanese market.
Principal Japanese companies in the industry
  • Panasonic Corporation
Principal foreign companies in the industry

TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd.

Major education/research institutes of the industry
  • A number of public research institutions such as Osaka University and the head office and R&D bodies of major electric appliance companies are concentrated in Osaka.

  • An assessment center where materials manufacturers evaluate prototypes of lithium-ion battery materials was formed by the KANSAI Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in 200. In addition, Osaka Prefecture University assembled outstanding researchers over multiple disciplines and established the “R&D Center for Next Generation Electric Vehicles” with small and medium-sized manufacturing companies as a central base to expand EV-related R&D. A succession of developments using next-generation technology has been made at the Center.

  • In pursuit of such high-level technological development capacity and human resources, it is expected that more and more companies will wish to locate in the Osaka bay area in the future.
Major industry cluster plans, special zones and industry-government-academia collaboration of the industry
  • Creating a suitable environment for promoting the spread of EVs and PHVs as well as marketing FCVs (fuel cell vehicles), the prefecture also aims for development and accumulation of new energy-related industries and structuring of a low-carbon society through Battery Strategy Research Center functions (established in July 2012) for supporting the generation of new demand for batteries. Furthermore, it seeks the accumulation of related industries through creating leading technology related to new energy and promoting verification projects related to smart communities and batteries.

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