The Ministry of International Trade and Industry will create a council in July to give all-around support to small office/home office businesses, officials said Wednesday.

The ministry hopes to improve business opportunities for the roughly 600,000 people involved in SOHO businesses who find it difficult to get orders from large corporations because of their size and limited sales activities.

The council will act as a go-between, enabling SOHO businesses to approach large companies for such work as data-input and Internet page design, the officials said.

With information technology advancing, the ministry believes it is important to match the capabilities of SOHO businesses with market demand.

The number of SOHO businesses is increasing in Japan with the widespread use of the Internet.