Niigata city plans IT hub, with tax perks, to attract foreign firms


The city of Minamiuonuma in Niigata Prefecture is planning to establish an information technology center for foreign companies as a local revitalization measure, Jiji Press learned Tuesday.

This will be the first IT hub in Japan mainly targeting foreign firms, according to Minamiuonuma municipal officials. Existing domestic IT hubs are designed to chiefly attract Japanese technology companies.

In fiscal 2016, which starts next April, the city hopes to attract 15 companies from such countries as India and Sri Lanka, the officials said. The companies will likely include developers of software used in the medical, financial and educational sectors, they said.

The number of companies operating in the IT hub will hopefully be increased to 70 by 2020, the officials said.

The IT base will be created by refurbishing a city government-related building. The city plans to open the hub in July, offering office spaces at low rents. Preferential tax treatments will also be available, the officials said.

About ¥20 million will be earmarked for the project under the city government’s budget for fiscal 2016, the officials said.

“We aim to create new jobs through the project,” said an official at the city’s commerce, industry and tourism department.

The city hopes that the IT hub will be used for the development of new technologies combining the prowess possessed by Japanese and foreign firms in the future.