In our spotlight on APAC series we round up the latest developments across Asia Pacific. In this post we look at the ways Japan is attempting to re-energise the economy with a focus on international talent.
In a move to energise the economy and attract more investment into the country, the Japanese Government plans to ease residency requirements for foreign entrepreneurs looking to build business in Tokyo. As soon as April 2024 the Government plans to revise the rules for foreign business owners and entrepreneurs and combine two separate programmes for promoting investment and entrepreneurship.
Japan is certainly less flexible currently than some of the other APAC jurisdictions and the plan, that would allow foreign entrepreneurs to live in the country for two years without a fixed place of business and without minimum investment funds will ease the way for foreign nationals to grow business and establish themselves.
Currently the rules require foreign nationals to have a secure place of business, at least two full time employees plus investment of around 5 million yen to qualify for business management residency. Offering a two year grace period without stringent criteria would open up the way for business owners to focus on growing business, creating networks and establishing themselves more fully into the business community. Since 2015 the focus has been on the bigger cities in Japan with smaller cities still struggling to attract foreign investment.
Many foreign nationals still struggle with language as a major barrier and functions such as opening a business bank account are challenging. The Japanese Government recognises that some of the hurdles for foreigners starting business in Japan remain too high.
Japan has struggled with an ageing population for some years and has gradually eased and opened routes of migration to the country in an effort to curb the labour shortage.