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Wed, 06/05/2024 - 01:30
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Japan Designates 4 Areas as Asset Management Special Zones

Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Tuesday designated four areas as special zones to promote new entry and expansion of domestic and foreign financial and asset management businesses and attract inflows of foreign investment to the country. 

The government aims to develop the special zones for asset management businesses as financial hubs with deregulation measures such as allowing businesses to complete administrative procedures solely in English and introducing tax incentives, part of an effort to encourage the growth of local industries and startups.

The four areas are Hokkaido and its capital city, Sapporo, Tokyo, the prefecture and city of Osaka, and the prefecture and city of Fukuoka.

"I hope all designated areas will use their characteristics and strengths to continuously propose regulatory reforms and utilize the system," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a government meeting ahead of the designations.

Establishing the special zones for financial and asset management businesses is part of the government's efforts to promote the country as a leading asset management center. The four areas submitted bids for such zones after the government began soliciting hosts in January.

In each area, a support office will be set up to help accept registration applications and consultations from foreign asset management firms in English, in order to reduce language barriers. The office will also support businesses in translating commercial registrations and health insurance procedures into English and help foreign nationals open bank accounts.
In the special zones, regulations on investments by banks in green transformation-related projects will be eased to support the growth of rising regional industries.

The four areas will adopt unique measures. The Hokkaido and Sapporo area, which aims to attract green transformation-linked industries, is mulling tax relief to participating firms. Tokyo will offer subsidies to asset management businesses as it aims to achieve a sustainable society through finance.

Osaka plans to use the 2025 World Exposition, to be held in the city, as an opportunity to attract startups. Fukuoka plans to focus on fostering startups as a gateway to Asia.