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Regional Business Conference Program in Fukushima

October 2018

From October 16 to 19, JETRO jointly held a Regional Business Conference (RBC) in Fukushima Prefecture with the prefectural government and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The RBC program provides opportunities for local governments to invite representatives from overseas companies, enabling officials like governors to directly promote their regions and local companies to seek potential overseas partners. On this occasion, 11 companies involved in medical equipment were invited from Germany, Thailand and Taiwan to see firsthand the attractiveness of Fukushima, which is home to a concentration of the medical device industry, and learn about the merits of doing business in the prefecture.

Allure of Fukushima promoted by heads of organizations at opening ceremony

At the opening ceremony on October 16, Vice Governor Toshiyuki Hata of Fukushima Prefecture gave an explanation on the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and publicized the attractiveness of Fukushima, a hub in the medical device industry. Following that, JETRO Executive Vice President Shigeki Maeda introduced the government’s activities for deregulation and highlighted the benefits of possessing a site for medical equipment in the prefecture, praising the industriousness of its people. Senior Advisor Toshiaki Kobayashi of Sukagawa Plant, Johnson & Johnson KK Medical Company stressed the indispensability of collaboration with local companies for those from overseas to operate in Japan long term. Subcommittee Chairman Akihiro Hayashi of Overseas Business Research Subcommittee, The Council for Fukushima Medical and Welfare Device Industry emphasized that his council will provide support to create a business-friendly environment for international companies. At the reception party, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshihiko Isozaki gave his greetings and made a passionate call for investment to Fukushima, a region he described as having diverse potential.

Keynote speech by JETRO Executive Vice President Maeda

Seminar venue

Tour of medical equipment development site

On October 17, invitees visited Fukushima Medical University Hospital on a tour of the prefecture, and were given explanations on the management system for medical equipment and the development process of those products originated from the university while being guided around the facility. At an operating room, they had a look at the cutting-edge robotic surgical system da Vinci®. The participants proactively asked questions and shared thoughts regarding development costs and collaboration with private companies.

At the Fukushima Medical Device Development Support Centre, they toured zones for safety assessment testing and technical training for surgery, treatment and nursing care. Participants expressed great interest in the facility, which is able to provide expensive advanced experimental devices and training equipment at relatively reasonable prices. One company with a location in country praised the center, saying "We were not aware of the existence of such a fantastic facility in Japan!"

Fukushima Medical University Hospital

Fukushima Medical Device Development Support Centre

Exchange and new collaboration with local companies at Medical Creation Fukushima 2018

On October 18 and 19, RCB participants took part in Medical Creation Fukushima 2018, an exhibition related to the development and production of medical equipment, where they interacted with local companies and other exhibition visitors. A pitch event was held for them within the venue to promote the business environments and technologies of their respective countries to a wide audience. The opening ceremony was joined by Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia Andreas Pinkwart and Minister Pariyes Piriyamashkul of Royal Thai Embassy(Thailand Board of Investment Tokyo Office), who supported interaction between companies from their countries and those in Fukushima.At a separate venue, a signing ceremony was held for Pureron Japan, a precision equipment manufacture in Fukushima and PiXATEC, a medical device company in Thailand to conclude an agreement for the establishment of a joint company with the purpose of developing medical devices. The event received attention from numerous media outlets as a big step in the development of business collaboration between Fukushima and the world.

A booth at Medical Creation Fukushima

Outline of RBC Program in Fukushima

Date Tuesday, October 16 - Friday, October 19, 2018
Venue Fukushima
Organizers Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO); Fukushima Prefecture; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Invitees 11 companies, including 7 German companies, 2 Thailand companies and 2 Taiwanese companies
Program Tuesday, October 16: Opening ceremony and reception
Wednesday, October 17: Prefecture tour (Fukushima Medical University Hospital and Fukushima Medical Device Development Support Centre)
Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19: Exchange with local companies (Participation and pitch event)