Investing in Japan
SAGAMIHARA CITY: Business and Investment Promotion Seminar to promote good access to Greater Tokyo Area held
Aug 02, 2017
In February 2017, Sagamihara City (Kanagawa Prefecture) held a seminar hosted by mayor aimed at companies under the title "Sagamihara Opens the Future – Aiming at an International Base.”
It promoted the attractiveness of the city from the perspective of companies such as the development of its new transportation network, extensive incentives for locating (support programs) and a comfortable living environment.
Attractiveness as "transportation hub": Good access to other cities
With a population of approximately 720,000 people, Sagamihara is located in the southwestern part of the Greater Tokyo Area within 40 km of the center of Tokyo. It has the third largest population following the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture. It has a younger average age than other designated cities, the percentage of the working age population is greater than the national average and it is a city full of youth and vitality.
The surrounding areas of the city’s two main stations, Hashimoto and Sagamihara, are connected to a railway network that extends to the Tokyo, Yokohama and Shonan areas through the Keio Sagamihara Line, JR Yokohama Line and JR Sagami Line. Sagamihara’s network with districts such as Shinjuku in central Tokyo will also grow stronger through the addition of the Odakyu Tama Line.
The return of the local US military base which is expected will also provide an impetus for the development of various city functions for the districts around Hashimoto and Sagamihara Stations. Their inland geographical advantage will allow the two areas to form one large-scale disaster prevention area in support of the Greater Tokyo Area.
Opening of maglev line to dramatically improve access to all parts of country
Also, the opening of the Chuo Shinkansen maglev line between Shinagawa and Nagoya Stations in 2027, and the establishment of the new Kanagawa Prefecture Station in Sagamihara as the local stop, will greatly enhance access to the Chubu and the Kansai areas.
- Amount of time required from Kanagawa Prefecture Station (estimated)
- Shinagawa: Approx. 10 min. Nagoya: Approx. 60 min. (non-express)
- Tokyo ⇔ Nagoya 40 min. at maximum speed: Targeted opening of 2027
- Tokyo ⇔ Osaka 67 min. at maximum speed: Targeted opening of 2045
Development of expressway allowing access to Greater Tokyo Area while avoiding congestion of Tokyo
The local road network has also seen development. There are two interchanges in the city for the Metropolitan Inter-City Expressway (the Ken-O Expressway: an advanced highway which will be extended to about 300 km in length, forming a 40-to-60 km radius loop around the center of Tokyo) and efforts toward industrial accumulation around both districts have grown. The opening of the Ken-O Expressway has made cities within Kanagawa, Saitama, Ibaraki and Chiba Prefectures, all of which surround Tokyo, accessible from Sagamihara while avoiding the congestion of Tokyo itself. Hence, it is now more convenient to access each district of the Greater Tokyo Area as well as the international airports of Narita and Haneda from Sagamihara.
The Ken-O Expressway is integrated with the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line and other Tokyo-based ring roads, forming a wide-area highway network in the region and serving as emergency transportation routes in the event of disaster.
Access map of Greater Tokyo Area (Source: Jouso National Highway Office)
Sagamihara City supports new business establishment or corporate expansion through varied menu
Sagamihara City aims to develop sustainable local industry as well as to form a stronger foundation for future industrial accumulation. It expanded its Industrial Accumulation Promotion Ordinance system in April 2015 and has established various incentives to promote location by companies and to create and to expand employment opportunities.
The Industrial Accumulation Promotion Ordinance, also referred to as “Sagamihara Tomorrow Expansion Project; STEP50,” which supports the establishment of business locations in the city, covers 10% of the investment amount, up to 1 billion yen, for the location of the plant or facility for sectors recognized as “leading industries” which significantly contribute to the city's economy (please see the table). Sagamihara City is also pioneering new measures never seen before in Japan such as its initiative for industrial-site conservation comprised of incentives for the succession of industrial sites and for the introduction of industrial-based district plans.
Incentives for companies that plan to establish new business or expand business in Sagamihara City
Sagamihara Tomorrow Expansion Project (STEP50)
(Incentives available in conjunction with the Kanagawa Prefecture Industrial Accumulation Promotion Ordinance [Select Kanagawa 100])
Support services for investment in Japan
(for foreign companies)
|Sagamihara Incubation Center Ltd. (SIC): Lending of laboratories and factories for companies in their founding phase or for individuals aiming to establish a business. Administrating a council for the creation of new industries.|
|The Sagamihara Industrial Promotion Foundation: SOHO support, community business promotion, supporting develop market channels for small and medium-sized enterprises and activities regarding institutional financing.|
Supporting cooperation among companies toward realizing a space industry city
Sagamihara City has developed up until now as an inland industrial city, but it is also welcoming the dawn of a new era in tandem with the growth of developing countries overseas.
The city has also invested resources into the space industry and other leading growth and researchand development -driven industries.
Many companies in the city were involved in the spacecraft “Hayabusa,” which was developed for asteroid exploration and has led to new product development and collaboration with other corporations thanks to demand created in other industries.
For example, various companies have been engaged in collaboration with medical schools for the development of advanced medical equipment by utilizing space technology.
Safe and secure living environment with solid ground and enhanced medical care system
Part of what makes Sagamihara’s living environment attractive is its solid ground. It is said that most of the city is located on a plateau without faults, making it is less likely to suffer from soil subsidence and liquefaction during earthquakes.
The city has also made enhancing the local medical care system a priority. Examples include a subsidy for maternity health checkups, strengthening of a system to ensure availability of emergency hospitals and adopting an insurance system for elderly facilities. In this regard, the city has strengthened its system for community development for the safety and security of its residents.
Going forward, Sagamihara City will continue to dedicate itself to welcoming foreign companies as well as domestic.