Investing in Japan
Latest UpdatesYokohama Seminar on Promotion of Foreign Investment -appealing Yokohama's advantageous investment environment-
May 18, 2016
This March the City of Yokohama held the “Yokohama Seminar on the Promotion of Foreign Investment” in Tokyo to publicize the city’s attractiveness as a destination of investment. Such advantages were introduced as its excellent business environment, a living environment which is accommodating to international residents, easy access provided by an international airport and solid transportation system. The city prides itself on its iconic values and a reputation it has built through offering generous incentives in the form of subsidies.
Yokohama is home to 180 foreign-affiliated companies. This is the second highest number in Japan after Tokyo, and it ranks first among ordinance-designated cities. Recently, domestic and foreign-affiliated companies’ expansion in Yokohama, for instance Apple’s R&D base and Shiseido’s new research facility, have been drawing attention.
In this seminar, the City of Yokohama promoted its “comprehensive power as a cosmopolis” and made an impassioned call for further investment by international enterprises.
Providing multifaceted support to foreign affiliates
Yokohama is located in the greater Tokyo area. The city is founded on a solid transportation system and boasts one of the biggest economic scales in Japan, in addition to its high accumulation of foreign-affiliated companies. Various national projects and facility construction projects are underway to develop Yokohama’s strength as an international business hub, and the city is home to many life science programs conducted under government-industry-academia collaboration. In addition to its numerous incentives, the city also has a well-established support system and a favorable environment for foreign affiliates to set up local operations thanks to dedicated points of contact within the municipal government.
Source: Created by JETRO from Yokohama City material
Source: Excerpt from "Yokohama Gate to Brightness"
Attractiveness of Yokohama: Comprehensive transportation system, ease in securing human resources, affluent incentives
At the seminar, the podium was taken by University of Tokyo professor Motoshige Ito, speakers from international affiliates located in Yokohama (Yuuichi Urano from Dow Chemical Japan and Yasuharu Shimonishi from Tenneco Japan) and finally by the Mayor of Yokohama, Fumiko Hayashi.
Professor Ito delivered a message on the “attractiveness of Japan as a destination of investment” in his keynote speech, citing as an example the fact that foreign pharmaceutical companies are returning to Japan because they are becoming aware of the fact that the country allows the earliest implementation of clinical tests in the world. He also shared his prediction that Japan will be in a grand era of massive human exchange within Asia in 30 years. He said that 50 million people from other parts of Asia will flow into Japan, bolstering the importance of the country’s position in the world.
Mr. Urano and Mr. Shimonishi shared the experiences of their respective companies. Mr. Urano mentioned that the location in Yokohama provides easy access to its clients, and combined with the reputation of Yokohama as a prestigious city, his company is easily securing necessary human resources. Mr. Shimonishi mentioned that he is satisfied with the convenient transportation, the living environment, the ease in securing human resources and level of business costs in Yokohama. The business location incentives created by Yokohama City particularly played a big part in his company’s decision to invest in an R&D facility, saving the company significant initial cost and allowing it restart an investment scheme that had been suspended for some time.
Mayor Hayashi called for investment into Yokohama in her presentation, by shedding light on the supportive environment prepared specifically for foreign-affiliated companies.
Business environment friendly to internationals
The Mayor of Yokohama also shared her view on the city’s allures found outside of business, saying “Yokohama offers a living environment in which people can enjoy a slow, comfortable and satisfying private life, where pleasures can be found in a diverse food culture and rich daily life. For instance, restaurants in Yokohama’s bustling district of Noge are known for satisfying the stomachs of residents from abroad. Yokohama has 10 international schools and hospitals which offer multi-lingual medical care services through volunteer interpreters. Yokohama is the place where business people and their families can find a secure and comfortable environment.” And she added “Yokohama set a goal to enhance its comprehensive power as a cosmopolis which meets the requirements of ever-growing international enterprises.”
(Invest Japan Promotion Division, Invest Japan Department, JETRO)
- Windows of contact for foreign-affiliated companies
JETRO Yokohama (JETRO IBSC Yokohama)
TEL ： 045-222-8911
E-mail ： YOK@jetro.go.jp
(Yokohama city’s) TOKYO OFFICE
- TEL ： 03-5501-4800
Business Development Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, City of Yokohama
TEL ： 045-671-2594
E-mail ： firstname.lastname@example.org