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Latest Updates”Invest Japan Forum 2016”  was held in Tokyo

Nov 14, 2016

On October 7, 2016, Nikkei Inc. jointly held the Invest Japan Forum 2016 together with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The forum was well attended by 362 people from foreign and foreign-affiliated companies, Japanese companies seeking to do business with foreign-affiliated firms, foreign embassies in Japan, foreign government-affiliated organizations, and local Japanese governments.

At the onset, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshinao Nakagawa took the podium to deliver opening remarks on behalf of the organizer and co-organizers, and introduced the measures that the Japanese government has been implementing to promote inward FDI. He mentioned that Japan aims to make itself the most business friendly country in the world through the introduction of one of the fastest green card issuance systems for highly skilled workers, and by promoting deregulation and review of the systems for regulation and administrative procedures.

JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige mentioned that inward FDI from Asia and elsewhere has been increasing. Pointing to progress made in deregulation by the government, he said, "Significant improvement in Japan's investment environment has been made." He also emphasized the recent increase in establishment of R&D functions in Japan by foreign-affiliated companies, saying it was evidence that these companies appreciate Japanese technology, recent deregulation and the system to protect intellectual property rights. He added that Japan's foreigner-friendly living environment and recent Nobel prize-winning streak in science are factors facilitating this trend. He appealed to participants to invest in Japan, saying “Now is the time.”

Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman & CEO, JETRO

Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman & CEO, JETRO



Tommy Leong, East Asia & Japan Zone President of Schneider Electric, and Alain Combier, Vice President of Air Liquide Group, referred to the “stable business environment,” “big market size” and “potential for technological development” as attractive aspects of Japan from the perspective of the foreign-affiliated investors. On the other hand, “high consumer demand” was referred to as a factor that could heighten the threshold to entering the Japanese market. Koichi Tanaka, senior fellow at Shimadzu Corporation, explained Japan’s strength in manufacturing industries which emphasize a "spirit of artisanship" as well as its high potential in R&D.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike presented her policy to improve the business and living environment by utilizing the special zone schemes to bolster Tokyo's position as an economic and financial center. She also touched upon the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government operates in cooperation with JETRO.

Hiroshi Takada, Chairman & CEO of the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN (SME Support, Japan), called on participants to utilize his organization’s database system J-GoodTech which supports business matching between Japanese SMEs and foreign-affiliated companies.

In the dialogue session, representatives from Tamagawa Seiki, Boeing International, Fuji International Technique and Atlas Copco exchanged thoughts under the theme “Factors for success in Alliances between Foreign Enterprises and Japanese Small/Medium Sized Enterprises”. The speakers from these companies, all of which are engaged in business tie-ups, explained the importance of respecting the business culture of one's partner company.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Motome Takisawa delivered greetings for the networking reception, where he stressed that the Japanese government is throwing all of its might into reforms toward the goal of increasing inward FDI stock to 35 trillion yen by 2020. More than 100 people took part in the networking reception to engage in lively exchange with other participants. JETRO received positive feedback from participating companies such as “The theme was timely and the speakers were informative,” “The event provided a good opportunity to connect with new companies” and “I hope the Invest Japan Forum will continue to be held for years to come.”

Outline of Invest Japan Forum 2016

Date & time October 7, 2016 (Friday) 13 : 00 - 20 : 00

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Organizer Nikkei Inc.


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Cabinet Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)


362 persons (foreign-affiliated companies, foreign embassies in Japan, foreign government affiliated-organizations, local Japanese governments)

Opening remarks
Toshinao Nakagawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry


Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman & CEO, JETRO
Tommy Leong, Zone President, East Asia & Japan Schneider Electric
Alain Combier, Vice President, North East Asia Cluster Air Liquide Group
Koichi Tanaka, Senior Fellow, Shimadzu Corporation
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo
Hiroshi Takada, Chairman & CEO, Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN (SME Support, Japan)

Talk session

Hiroyuki Hagimoto, CEO & Chairman, Tamagawa Seiki Co., Ltd.
Brett C. Gerry, President, Boeing Japan
Kotoku Fujiwara, General Manager, Fuji Industrial Technique Co., Ltd
Thomas Östergren, Representative Director, General Manager Holding Japan, Atlas Copco KK Japan

Networking reception

(Greeting) Motome Takisawa, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs