Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Japan

What are Special Economic Zones (SEZs)?

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are geographical regions within the country that have different economic laws, generally more liberal in nature. The main aim of SEZs  is usually an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. A well structured SEZ can bring a multitude of benefits for the host country like:

(i)An increase in employment,Japanese flag with SEZ on it

(ii)FDI attraction,

(iii)Foreign exchange earnings,

(iv)International exposure, and

(v)The transfer of innovation, skills and technologies.

China as a Pioneer of SEZs

China was a pioneer in creating Special Economic Zones to inject new life in its economy. One of the earliest and the most successful SEZ was set up by the Chinese government under Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s. The result? In around 20 years since it was established, the economic zone of Shenzhen developed from a small village into a city with a population of over 10 million inhabitants.

Following the Chinese (and later, South Korean) success stories, SEZs have been established in several other countries including Japan. In the Japanese language they are known as Sogo Tokku, or ‘Comprehensive Special Zones’. This initiative was released in late December 2011 – nearly 30 years after China. In short, SEZs have become a core component of Japan’s strategy for the much needed economic growth. Special advantages given to the Zones include tax breaks and financial support to increase foreign investment in the regions.

An Opportunity to Invest in Japan

The SEZs are not only targeted to boost only domestic Japanese companies. Companies and businesses from overseas can take advantage of various benefits including tax cuts and financial support. Some Zones even offer business development support and tie ups in finding and establishing contacts with Japanese companies. Another advantage is that opportunities are not only limited to Japanese companies but also to other regional companies making Japan a hub to other Asian countries. To conclude, the Special Economic Zones in Japan offer overseas companies excellent opportunities for gaining a foothold in the Japanese market.

Major SEZs in Japan

(i)Ota – Situated in Tokyo, this an Asian Headquarters Zone (AHZ) that aims to encourage more overseas companies to locate their Asian headquarters in Japan.

(ii)Tsukuba- Centered around the famous Tsukuba University in Ibaraki, this SEZ specializes in innovation and to boost new industry sectors like life science, robotics and clean technologies.

(iii)Fukuoka – The central theme of this SEZ in Kyushu is green technology. It aims to achieve economic growth by providing environmentally friendly solutions including energy & water saving and waste management technologies.

2 Responses to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Japan

  1. Pingback: New Proposals for SEZs in Tokyo, Osaka and Aichi. | Japan Trade

  2. really thanks for you because you have described detailed SEZ, – (amrlsez.com)

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