Investing in Japan
"Aichi Prefecture" Promoting accumulation of automobile industry
Mar 21, 2017
Aichi Prefecture is the heartland of monozukuri (manufacturing based on the spirit of Japanese traditional craftsman), and the prefecture has shined at the top in the ranking of shipment value of manufactured goods for 38 consecutive years. The nationwide share of the prefecture’s shipment value of passenger vehicles in particular is about 40%, making automobiles the key industry of the prefecture.
Aichi is home to a concentration of domestic and overseas automobile-related companies including Toyota, Mitsubishi Motors and other completed vehicle manufacturers, Denso and other major components manufacturers and overseas automobile-related companies such as Volkswagen.
Figure 1: Domestic automobile-related companies in Aichi and surrounding areas
Figure 2: Foreign-affiliated companies in Aichi (transportation equipment companies)
Reference data: Major items in which Aichi ranked number one
Source: Aichi Statistical Outline 2017
Development in next generation sectors
The Aichi Prefectural Government is contributing to the evolution of automobile technologies, such as those for autonomous cars, to achieve the target of forming a solid industrial cluster in order to respond to requirements arising from next generation sectors and realize a safe, secure and comfortable new automobile society.
At the same time, the prefecture is trying to encourage Aichi’s automobile industry to turn a new page through nurturing human resources for core technologies of next generation automobiles (for batteries, materials, electricity control and motors) and building infrastructure such as charging stations or hydrogen stations.
1. Autonomous cars
1) The Aichi Prefectural Government established the Automobile Safety Technology Project Team in collaboration with automotive-related companies and universities to facilitate R&D and adoption of automobile safety technologies and support verification tests on public roads. Regarding the verification tests, the prefecture is working as a one-stop liaison between police, road management authorities and municipal governments to prepare the environment to conduct verification tests, based on requests from businesses and universities.
2) Aichi is designated as a National Strategic Special Zone (specifically a Near Future Technologies Verification Special Zone), and is carrying out the Autonomous Driving Verification Tests Project.
For this project, regulations such as the Road Traffic Law were eased to allow verification tests on public roads to facilitate creation of new services such as autonomous taxi vehicles. In FY2016, this project conducted verification tests in 15 areas with different road conditions and surrounding environments, including in the mountains and on remote islands.
Verification test of highly sophisticated driving assistance technology on public roads
Autonomous driving verification tests
2. Hydrogen station
The number of established hydrogen stations in Aichi Prefecture, including for verification tests, as of the end of this January, is 17 outlets at 18 locations, making the prefecture number one in the national ranking. Aichi plans to increase the number of outlets to about 100 by FY2025 by implementing various measures including subsidy programs.
3. Charging infrastructure
Regarding infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), 1,655 outlets have been established throughout the prefecture as of the end of March 2016.
Figure 3: Hydrogen stations
(as of the end of January 2017)
Establishing new R&D base
The Aichi Prefectural Government is currently preparing land to be used for R&D facilities and a test course for Toyota, as part of its mission to promote accumulation and enhancement of R&D functions to support innovation of monozukuri technologies. The total land area is 650 hectares, where a 6000m test course and other R&D facilities will be built and are expected to employ 4,000 people.
There are abundant business opportunities and many partners generating innovation in Aichi Prefecture. If you are considering entry into Japan, please consider Aichi as a candidate destination.
Source: Created by JETRO from materials provided by the Aichi Prefectural Government