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Regional Information Sapporo city

Sapporo, aiming to become the world’s most innovative city

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Investment Promotion&Manufacturing Industries Support Section, Economic&Tourism Affairs BureauExternal site: a new window will open.

Kita 1 Nishi 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8611
Tel: +81-11-211-2362 Fax: +81-11-218-5130

Sapporo city

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The information below is as of November 2017. (Basic Information: September 2018)

Basic Information

Population *1 1.96 million
Labor force *1 0.93 million
Area (square kilometer)*2 1,121.3
GDP *3 6,566,710 million yen
Major industries Wholesaling/retailing, service, information
Wage *4
Initial wage for university graduates(Average)
Initial wage for college of technology/junior colledge graduates (Average)
Initial wage for upper secondery school graduates (Average)
Scheduled cash eanings (Average)
Land price(for 1square meter) *5
Land price for industrial use (Average)
Land Price for Commercial Use (Average)
Number of Establishments *6 82,285
Number of Employees *6 912,841
Offices overseas

Beijing, China

JETRO office

JETRO Hokkaido

Regional Profile

Strength of the region's industries and economy

Sapporo is the fifth largest city in Japan with a population of approximately 1.95 million people (approximately 2.50 million people incorporating seven cities and one town in the Sapporo metropolitan area).
The city boasts rich human resources, a high educational standard, low office rental costs, and a safe environment with few natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and lightning storms. This environment was highly recognized by the public, contributing to the development of industrial clusters, e.g., IT companies involving software development, and call centers and BPO centers in the IT or financial industries. In particular, against the backdrop of the public awareness of operational continuity in the event of disasters, which was triggered by the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the city has been attracting the attention of companies as a destination to which such companies distribute important operations from Tokyo.

Sapporo City

Foreign company(s) operating in the industry

  • AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd.
  • Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus)
  • Amazon Japan G K.
  • Ingersoll-Rand Japan, Ltd.
  • Nihon Medi-physics Co., Ltd.
Company name AXAExternal site: a new window will open.
Country France
Industry sector

Life insurance business

Outline of business

We provide life insurance products and services through five sales channels to meet the various needs of our customers. We, the parent company of AXA General Insurance Company Ltd. and AXA Direct Life Insurance Co., Ltd., also control and supervise the management of our affiliated companies.

Date of entry 2014, Nov
Motivation for selecting region

We considered various risks and conditions such as natural disasters, employment and care for transferred employees from the major cities (65 cities) in Japan, and selected Sapporo because Hokkaido Prefecture and Sapporo City were then conducting a campaign to attract companies under the Backup Base Scheme and they fully recognized the importance of the Business Continuity Management (BCM) from an administrative perspective.


We founded the Sapporo Headquarters as the foundation of the decentralization system of important operations so our business can continue even if the Tokyo Headquarters is damaged by a disaster. We obtained ISO22301, the international standard for business continuity management systems in April 2015; the first life insurance company to achieve this. We have been referred to as an example initiative for building resilience with local revitalization by the Office for Building National Resilience of the government of Japan. To support our Sapporo Headquarters, we hired quality local human resources, and the number of employees is smoothly increasing. Even after completing the establishment of the Sapporo Headquarters, local governments continue to provide us with follow-up consultation services concerning a variety of challenges we face. This support helps us establish our fundamental structure.

Company name AflacExternal site: a new window will open.
Country United States
Industry sector

Life insurance business

Outline of business

We aim to relieve customers’ anxiety about cancer and other diseases, injuries and care-giving and help them vigorously live their life. To this end, we provide a variety of products and services, such as cancer or medical-care insurances, as a leading company under the slogan of “Insurance to Survive.”

Date of entry April 2016 (Sapporo System Development Office; the company started operation in Japan in 1974.)
Motivation for selecting region

We decided to select the city from the viewpoint of low risk in the occurrence of natural disasters and the rich source of quality human resources. We considered the city as an optimal destination where we would establish an IT-division base for the distribution of operational functions.


Aiming to further enhance our operation continuity system to address future mega-disasters, we transferred some of the important functions concerning IT and system development from the Headquarters to a newly-established Sapporo System Development Office in Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, and established two bases for the system development divisions. This distribution of functions among business bases and transfer of important operations to a new base will contribute to fortifying the operational continuity of insurance business in the event of a mega-disaster and will consolidate a system under which we continue to provide our customers with services even when affected by such a disaster.
The office in Sapporo aims to establish a 100-employee system by the end of 2017, 60 to 70% of which will be local residents. We have been smoothly recruiting outstanding employees, including those who have decided to move to Hokkaido or returned to their hometown to live in the prefecture.

Available incentives

Sapporo has been working to attract call centers since FY2000, establishing a system to support companies engaged in BPO business suitable for Sapporo. The city created programs to support IT, digital content, and biotechnology companies, and moreover it created programs to support manufacturing (monozukuri) industries such as food product manufacturing industries, etc., and has since actively endeavored to attract such companies. Sapporo offers subsidies to companies newly locating to the city and implements a number of carefully tailored follow-up projects so that the companies develop and expand their business in a stable way; these include providing consultations on office selection, supporting to find new employees, conducting a variety of training and supporting corporate personnel training efforts.

Incentive name

Location Promotion Subsidy for Call Centers and Back Offices

Incentive type Subsidies
Incentive target industries

Call centers, BPO centers, etc.

Outline of Incentives (Requirements etc.)
  • Establishing office for the first time: Up to 10 million yen for 3 years
  • Expanding office: Up to 10 million yen
  • Headquarters relocation: Up to 120 million yen (as the sum for 3 years)

Note: The total subsidy amount depends on the number of regular and permanent employees (as for the transfer of headquarters functions, the subsidy program covers expenditure on opening new headquarters).

Incentive name

Location Promotion Subsidy for IT Contents and Bio Industry

Incentive type Subsidies
Incentive target industries

IT, digital contents and bio

Outline of Incentives (Requirements etc.)

Personnel expenses: up to 6 million yen for 2 years
※The amount of expenses is based on the number of permanent employee.

Setup fee: up to 8 million yen
※ Fee: 50% of cost construction and apparatus buying expenses

Incentive name

Sapporo Area Subsidy for the Promotion of the Investment in Equipment

Incentive type Subsidies
Incentive target industries

Manufacturing, distribution industries

Outline of Incentives (Requirements etc.)

Establishing operations:Up to 10 million yen
Office extention: Up to 5 million yen
※The amount of expenses is based on the type of industry and the capital expenditure.

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