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Updated on October 7, 2016

Governor Koike’s speech at the INVEST JAPAN Forum 2016 on Oct. 7, 2016

Governor Yuriko Koike spoke at the INVEST JAPAN Forum 2016 on October 7 to outline her vision for re-establishing Tokyo as the economic and financial center of Asia, and to introduce initiatives that she hopes will encourage more foreign businesses to invest in Tokyo.

Governor Koike stated that Tokyo had lost its status as Asia’s premier business hub in recent years.

“When I was a newscaster until 1992 for a business news program which was called ‘World Business Satellite’, Tokyo was one of the world’s most important financial hubs, along with London and New York. But unfortunately, our status as Asia’s leading financial center has since been surpassed by cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong. It is our ambition to win that status back!”

The Governor went on to outline what she believes makes Tokyo the ideal environment for foreign businesses.

“I’m sure all of you agree that Tokyo is truly a world-leading megacity featuring sophisticated technologies backed up by highly skilled engineers, developers and innovators who work for and are trained by leading companies, universities and other institutions. Tokyo also boasts impressively clean water and air, as well as world-famous levels of safety, creating a fantastic environment for all who work here.”

She spoke of major reforms that will put the citizens of Tokyo first, including her goal of creating a new Tokyo that’s three cities in one – a “safe city”, a “diverse city”, and a “smart city”. She said that with its population of 37 million people, The Greater Tokyo Area provides an extremely attractive market for all types of businesses, and an excellent testing ground for products and services that are to be introduced to the global market – all supported by a strong workforce.

“Tokyo is also a gold mine for human resources and potential partners. Workers are diligent and intelligent, universities and research institutions are world-renowned, and many SMEs develop cutting-edge technologies that are already deployed by the world’s leading manufacturers.”

Governor Koike also touched on several initiatives that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has implemented in its efforts to create an international business environment and to encourage foreign companies to establish operations here. These initiatives included the Special Zone projects designed to expand the supply of commercial facilities and residential properties, as well as the establishment of the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center to assist international companies with the various filing procedures required for setting up in Tokyo.

In closing, Governor Koike highlighted the necessity of providing a welcoming environment for international employees and their families.

“When people decide to work in a foreign country, one of their main concerns is their children’s education. We are now exploring ways of redesigning some of Tokyo’s business districts to facilitate the establishment of more international schools. As a result of these efforts, we have successfully welcomed a number of excellent companies from abroad in several industries such as IT, healthcare, environmental technology, and others.”

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