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Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City's population exceeded 1.63 million last year, making it one of the few cities that continues to grow in Japan, a society with a declining population. The city has a high ratio of young people and women and has a reputation for being a livable city, with 96.2% of citizens answering that it is "easy to live in" in the 2022 Citizen's Opinion Survey.

Fukuoka City is also Japan's westernmost major city and the largest city in Kyushu, which is close to Taiwan. Because of its geographical and historical ties to the rest of Asia, the city is also focusing on accepting overseas businesses that wish to expand, particularly from Asia. In this issue, we will focus on Fukuoka's measures for business expansion from overseas among the many initiatives it has to offer.

Support for Companies Expanding into Fukuoka City

Fukuoka City is a compact city with a high quality of life. It is surrounded by rich nature, such as the ocean and mountains, yet the airport and the Shinkansen (bullet train) station are within 5 minutes of the city center, making it possible to achieve a high quality of life.

The city attracts global attention as a business hub in Asia, and the number of companies with innovative technology, including asset management and Fintech, is increasing year by year. For foreign companies based in Tokyo, Fukuoka City is becoming a popular choice for BCP sites in the event of a major disaster.

With TSMC's expansion into neighboring Kumamoto, Taiwanese semiconductor companies have established bases in Fukuoka, and E.Sun Bank has chosen Fukuoka for its second branch after Tokyo.

The number of people moving to Fukuoka City is expected to increase in the coming years, while more companies, including semiconductor companies, will set up R&D and sales offices or move their headquarter functions to the city. In light of this, we are expanding our support services and further promoting business attraction activities. Our one-stop service offers such comprehensive support as office searches that make the most of the city's compactness, business matching, and other related services. The city also has a subsidy program for foreign companies that do B2B business and are first-time entrants to Japan.


Support for Startups

Fukuoka City began to focus on startup-support after declaring itself "Startup City Fukuoka" in 2012. The city has been designated by Japan's national government as a National strategic Special Zone for Global Startups and Job Creation, and by deregulating national measures, such as tax reduction for startup and startup visa, in combination with its own unique measures, the city supports talented startups from overseas who want to establish a business in Japan to expand into Fukuoka City.

Fukuoka City also is home to the Global Startup Center (GSC) support organization. The GSC is a place where English-speakers can have full access to the resources and information they need; they do not simply just translate relevant documents into a language the founder understands, but they also provide comprehensive support, including startup visas and help to make the connections necessary to establish their businesses.

After a business has been established, Fukuoka City also provides an environment for foreigners to start their businesses through a variety of support services, including providing of office spaces at the startup support facility Fukuoka Growth Next and the operation of incubation programs.


Fukuoka Smart East: the Smart City Initiative

Fukuoka City is promoting Fukuoka Smart East, a project to create a model smart city to be proud of in the future. The project aims for sustainable development by using cutting-edge technologies and innovative ideas to solve various social issues, such as declining birthrates, aging societies, and climate change.

The first step towards achieving the goals of Fukuoka Smart East is urban development in the Hakozaki area, where the former campus of Kyushu University was located. The area is a vast 500,000 m2 and only takes 10 minutes from the airport, making it an extremely convenient location.

The participation of innovative companies with cutting-edge technology is essential to achieving this project; however, the former campus site is currently a vacant lot, and it will take several years to develop the town. We are now conducting PoC demonstration experiments in collaboration with innovative companies that have expressed interest in the urban development of Hakozaki. City and related organizations are providing various support for the implementation of the demonstrations, including management consultations, setting up the site, and recruiting monitors.


To all companies thinking of expanding into Japan, Fukuoka City is ready to encourage you to establish a new office, start a new business, or conduct a demonstration experiment! Feel free to contact us at the e-mail address below!