The Tokyo government announced last week on the 27th that it has applied to the national government for 5 districts in the city, downtown and along the coast, to be designated as “International Strategy Comprehensive Zone”. The areas selected were there areas around the train stations for: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa/Tamachi. Also applied for were coastal areas and the area around Haneda International Airport.
What do these special regions signify? Stephen Harner posted a nice article in February about some of the details, but basically the government will encourage foreign companies to establish in those areas. Also, foreigners who will go to work for those companies will have their visa applications processed faster. Subsidies will also be provided for created schools for the expected increase in foreign children who will accompany their parents and have educational needs in English.
The government’s goal is to invite over 500 foreign companies within 5 years after the special zones have received recognition. These companies will be able to take advantage of certain additional subsidies and reduced taxes for purchasing real estate.