Japan to create four “Silicon Valleys” to boost technology startups

2 minute read

31 July 2020

In an announcement on 13th July, the Japanese government provided details of four metropolitan areas which it plans to develop into “Global Base Cities” with the goal of promoting these areas as centres of technology innovation and venture capital investment.  

Image of Tokyo skyscrapers.  Tokyo is one of the 4 regions designated as startup global base cities in Japan

The Japanese government’s intention is to develop a series of clusters of tech innovation and investment that will serve as a base for venture companies, in the same way as Silicon Valley does in the United States.

The four locations chosen are: 

  • Tokyo metropolitan area, including Tokyo, Tsukuba city and Ibaraki prefecture.
  • Central Aichi prefecture: Nagoya city and Hamamatsu city.
  • The Kansai area: Osaka city, Kyoto city and Kobe city.
  • Fukuoka city.

The Japanese government  intends to provide preferential subsidies and significant deregulation to the councils established by each base city to stimulate business with local economic groups and universities, as well as promoting investment and attracting workers from overseas. 


In addition to the ‘global base cities’, Sapporo city, Sendai city, Hiroshima prefecture, and Kitakyushu city have been selected to provide sector-specific ecosystems for fields such as smart agriculture and environmental technology.


Over the last decade a new wave of entrepreneurism has established itself in Japan, and OBM has reported on the startup culture in Kansai, the region at the centre of the economy of Western Japan. We look forward to seeing increased activity and development between the startup ecosystem in Kansai, and the ecosystems in other regions of Japan, with global companies and organisations.   We see this as a great opportunity for UK and EU technology companies and investors to create new business opportunities in Japan.


In the Kansai region, Osaka is an expanding centre of activity for startup companies.  OBM has recently worked with the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) in the UK to facilitate UK startup’s applications to the Global innovation forum (GIF) in Osaka.  GIF brings together startups from overseas including the UK and gives them exposure to the Kansai startup ecosystem.  The invitees get the opportunity to present their products demonstrations, participate in a pitch session, B2B meetings and networking with Japanese companies. This years event will run between 26th to 28th October. 


If you would like to engage with startup ecosystem in Japan, please contact us.