Kyushu and Hokkaido are well-positioned to lead Japan’s next high-tech revolution.

Having already attracted data centers and multibillion-dollar investments in cutting-edge semiconductor facilities, their local economies stand to benefit greatly from a forthcoming AI revolution. But Japan’s labor force shortages, especially in high-tech industries, and uneven international social infrastructure may pose challenges for fully realizing these regional economies’ revitalization ambitions.

The world’s high regard for Japan’s soft power — cuisine, culture and creativity — attracted 25 million tourists last year, according to The Japan Times. These same pull factors should also help attract foreign workers to Japan; but creating the conditions necessary to spur long-term relocations rather than short-term stays will require greater investment in international social infrastructure.