July 20, 2020
A program that supports various regions of Japan in attracting companies from overseas
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) have been advancing the Support Program for Regional Foreign Direct Investment in Japan (hereinafter referred to as the “support program”) to support municipalities that intend to make active efforts to attract overseas companies by uniting the efforts of all ministries and agencies of the government. METI hereby announces that METI and JETRO newly selected Sapporo City as a municipality to be supported under the support program.
Exercising leadership, METI and JETRO, in collaboration with the selected city, will formulate strategies for attracting overseas companies to the city by taking advantage of the city’s strengths and utilizing its potential to the maximum extent possible, and will support the city’s specific activities for attracting overseas companies in accordance with the strategies. Through these efforts, METI and JETRO will encourage overseas companies to directly invest in the city.
Outline of the support program
It is effective for municipalities of Japan that intend to attract overseas companies to their regions to identify their strengths, such as unique industrial clusters, agriculture, forestry and fishery products and tourism resources, and to connect these strengths with sales channels, technologies, human resources and know-how of companies from overseas.
In May 2018, the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, a body organized by the government, held a meeting and decided to implement the support program (secretariat: METI and JETRO), aiming to advance efforts to attract overseas companies to regional areas of Japan in a strategic manner by taking advantage of the uniqueness of such areas; and, to this end, support municipalities in developing their strategies and encourage them to effectively make use of related measures and advance specific activities for attracting overseas companies in accordance with the strategies by uniting the efforts of all ministries and agencies of the government. METI and JETRO have selected 28 successful municipalities to be supported under the support program so far and they supported the selected municipalities in formulating strategies that take advantage of regional strengths and in advancing specific activities for attracting companies from overseas.
Outline of Sapporo City as the successful municipality
As it boasts such strengths as rich human resources, reasonable business-related costs, and a quality living environment striking a balance between urban functions and nature, Sapporo City has been advancing efforts for attracting companies, both domestic or overseas, to shift their headquarters’ functions, call centers, and development bases for IT industries or digital contents to the city. In January 2020, the city acquired the highest certification called “Platinum” under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for the first time in Japan, the most internationally recognized and popular certification system in which companies are assessed for their environmental performance involving buildings and cities. Since then, the city has been attracting attention for its advantages, including how the city contributes to companies’ achievement of SDG goals and ESG investments.
In July 2020, the city was selected as a City Promoting Building of Startup Ecosystem Bases, a project advanced by the Cabinet Office. Based on this, it will enhance efforts for attracting overseas companies, in particular targeting companies that are expected to constitute an innovation ecosystem as well as R&D bases and startup-related businesses in the fields of IT and creative industries, by taking advantage of a business convention called “NoMaps” and other opportunities.