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Invest Japan Seminar in New York with Prime Minister Abe

September 2015

On September 28, JETRO held an Invest Japan seminar in New York featuring Prime Minister Abe, the Governor of Mie Prefecture and the Mayor of Yokohama City making a direct appeal to US companies to consider investment in Japan. Executives of US-based companies who have extensive history investing in Japan also took the podium and made speeches and talked about the advantage of investing in Japan. The seminar received 280 participants from US companies, indicating that interest in investing Japan among US companies is fairly high.

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Aiming at the best business environment in the world

Prime Minister Abe sent a strong message to the audience by stating, “Japan is committed to doing reforms to make itself the most business-friendly country in the world.”
He also underlined that “Japan has a hidden treasure trove sitting dormant, called ‘manufacturing technology’. I hope that foreign companies make good use of this technology. To that end, Japan is going to establish a dedicated section within the government-affiliated financial institution which has transactions with Japanese SMEs to support collaboration between foreign companies and these SMEs. Japan is no longer a country closed to foreign people. Foreign workers belonging to the category of highly skilled personnel are allowed to stay in Japan indefinitely after an initial three-year residence.”

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Japan as investment market with great potential

Jamie Dimon; Chairman of the Board and CEO of JP Morgan Chase; delivered the keynote speech. He stated that there are many industries with the potential to function as a driving force for the Japanese economy such as automobiles, finance, nanotechnology and robotics. Reforms such as improvement in transparency of companies and flexibility in the labor force will bring Japan back on course toward sustainable economic growth in the future.

Heads of two local governments talk about specific advantages of their own local regions.

Eikei Suzuki, Governor of Mie Prefecture, the host prefecture of the next G7 Ise-Shima summit slated for 2016, promoted the prefecture’s advantages such as high competitiveness in the areas of electronics and their components and transport equipment which hold large shares nationally, high GDP per capita—even when compared to entire countries within Asia—and cost effectiveness of investment found in monthly office rent and wages. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City, introduced the city’s leading edge commitment in the fields of environment and life innovation. She also emphasized that many global companies have already established research and development centers in the city, demonstrating Yokohama’s high potential in this area as is exemplified Apple’s siting of research and development center in the city.

Advantages of doing business and making investment in Japan from viewpoint of US companies

Douglas Beck, Apple’s Vice President of North America and Northeast Asia, referred to the company’s strong thirty-year long relationship with Japan. He mentioned that Apple employs over 2,100 people directly and has been seeing robust expansion of sales in recent years. He expressed Apple’s continuous commitment in investing in Japan for many years to come starting with establishment of a research and development center by receiving support from the city of Yokohama.
Eran Westman, CEO and Board Member, Vidyo, Inc. a developer and supplier of video conference technology, mentioned how important the Japanese market for his company is, calling it the second largest market for his company after the US. He mentioned the significance of making goals clear and having good business partners in order to become successful in Japan.

The question and answer session was another opportunity for participant’s high interest to be displayed. It also allowed the advantages of Japan as an investment destination to be fully conveyed to the participants and increased their understanding of investing in Japan.

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At the reception held after the seminar, local governments, including those from the venue of the ministerial meetings at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit scheduled for 2016, conducted PR activities by setting up booths, displaying local specialties and engaging in proactive communication with participants.

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Outline

Invest Japan Seminar 2015
Date Monday, September 28, 2015 09:00 - 11:10
Venue New York ATHLETIC CLUB
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Co-organizer Ministry of Economy Technology and Industry (METI), Mie Prefecture,Yokohama City
Supporter US Chamber of Commerce, US Japan Business Council, US-Japan Council, Consulate General of Japan in New York, Columbia Business School, Columbia Business School--Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI), Japan Society, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), Japan Foundation New York
Participants 280 people (US and Japan-based companies and organizations )
Program
Opening Remarks Toshiyuki Yokota, President of JETRO New York
Greeting from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Keynote Speech Jamie Dimon, Chairman of the Board and CEO, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Speech
  • Eikei Suzuki, Governor of Mie Prefecture, Japan
  • Douglas Beck, Vice President, North America and Northeast Asia, Apple Inc.
  • Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City, Japan
  • Eran Westman, CEO and Board Member, Vidyo, Inc.
Japanese local governments taking part in reception Sendai City,Tsukuba City/Ibaraki Prefecture,Yokohama City, Toyama City, Mie Prefecture, Kobe City,Hiroshima City,Kitakyushu City