Saitama City, a major bedroom community of Tokyo, is proud of many things, including the fact that it is home to 1 percent of the country’s population, a percentage that is likely to rise as the population is still increasing.
It is also home to Saitama Stadium, a 2002 FIFA World Cup stadium, and Saitama Super Arena, the venue slated to host basketball during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The city, 19 minutes from Ueno Station, 22 minutes from Tokyo Station and 29 minutes from Shinjuku Station, is a pleasant place to live, with convenient access to retail stores, transportation, rich nature, sports facilities and residential areas. Land prices are reasonable compared with Tokyo and other bedroom communities of Tokyo. Saitama’s average residential land price was ¥176,000 per square meter, substantially lower than the ¥214,000 in Yokohama, ¥250,000 in Kawasaki and ¥505,000 in Tokyo’s 23 wards, according to the Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry’s 2014 official figures.
Also, the city takes various measures via the Saitama City Foundation for Business Creation to support companies, such as providing consulting and financing services and dispatching experts to them.
The city also supports business expansion through cooperation with businesses, governments and universities and other measures.
With such incentives, 126 new company facilities had relocated to Saitama City in the 10 years to 2014.
On top of those, Saitama also boasts many companies in the high-tech sector, especially in optical equipment. Saitama commands 13 percent of market share in shipments of optical equipment and lenses in Japan.
To help such high-tech companies thrive, the city is offering support to enhance their competitiveness.
The city began the “Saitama City Leading-edge Companies Certification and Support Program” in April 2008. To date, it has certified 34 companies as leading-edge companies.
Supporting these certified companies will stimulate industry in the city, further enhancing the city’s appeal. The program aims to allow the city to rise as an international competitive power and create innovation. Certified companies will hopefully be the driving force of not only Saitama City, but also the entire Japanese economy.
The certified companies are allowed to announce their certification as a leading-edge company and use the official logo, the motif of which is a human hand, which signifies the importance of human input in high technology.
The companies also receive support from the city in a variety of forms. For example, the city promotes them at international trade shows and in an annual pamphlet it publishes, titled “Saitama City Leading-edge Companies,” in Japanese and English.
Additionally, the city supports certified companies’ development of new technology, new business, overseas expansion and employee training.
Through a screening process, a review committee established by the city screens applicant companies on the basis of originality and innovation; marketability; likelihood of submitted plans to be realized; expansion potential; and social value. The committee is comprised of specialists from corporate aid agencies, academia, international business support organizations, as well as experts in product development, marketing, financing and accounting.
This fiscal year, Saitama certified eight companies. Of them, the following four companies are small or mid-size companies with niche technologies that could elevate them to global excellence.
Antenna Giken Co., Ltd., established in 1965, is a maker of components for communication equipment, such as communication antennas, high-frequency filters and peripheral devices.
Antenna Giken’s products are used in social infrastructure such as digital network broadcasting and communication systems, disaster risk reduction and fire suppression systems, railway and aviation control systems and satellite communication systems. Antenna Giken contributes to the realization of highly organized information networks as a company that develops and manufactures equipment related to electrical wave transmission.
In addition to manufacturing components, the company conducts simulations and analyses of existing antennas from outside their product range.
“As a ‘development-type manufacturer,’ we focus our resources on development, design, measurement and arrangement that require special technology and know-how based on long experience, outsourcing manufacturing to overseas partner companies, to better expand on the global stage,” President Shigeki Takeda said in a company brochure.
“For our engineers to make full use of their originality to develop cutting-edge technology, we will continue to prepare the best environment for engineers by having the best facilities and equipment.”
Cosmo Research Corp. develops and supplies various research and test equipment such as digital communication and high-speed signal processing equipment that is used in advanced communication by private and governmental research institutes.
The company collaborates with companies in different industries, mixing its core technologies with that of other companies with an eye toward developing unique products that a single company would face difficulty developing on its own. In addition to its original products, Cosmo also manufactures other companies’ products.
Cosmo Research’s core technologies are OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), which is essential technology for modern telecommunications and broadcasting such as Wi-Fi and terrestrial digital broadcasting, as well as high-speed signal processing and RF (radio frequency) technology.
Cosmo Research, with only 20 employees, boasts technology enabling the entire processes of developing and manufacturing digital wireless communication equipment in house.
Kaneko Manufacturing Co., Ltd. machines and assembles high-tech components made of steel or ceramics such as parts for endoscopes, cardiac support devices and other medical devices, components used in aircraft and airplane engines and prototypes that require machining, welding and adhesion.
It has acquired certifications such as ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and JISQ 9100, as well as a license to manufacture medical devices.
“What we emphasize the most as a manufacturer is the pride (of our engineers),” President Harufusa Kaneko was quoted in a company pamphlet.
The company motto is to contribute to the development of society and continue to be sincere toward employees, customers and society, as well as to be a company trusted by society.
Kaneko Manufacturing has strength in machining thin, miniscule and hard-to-process components.
The company also focuses on the development of products, including a world-first glasses-free-3-D module to develop MultiView (28 points), which creates a real-time 3-D-glasses-free video.
Nishina Industrial Co., Ltd. handles surface treatment of industrial parts and products ranging from general industrial products to space, nuclear and defense-related products. The company treats objects of various sizes, including small components of just a few millimeters to enormous industrial equipment weighing as much as 20 tons.
The company has a facility in Saitama Prefecture — one of the largest such facilities in Japan — that enables electroless nickel plating of large objects, up to four meters in length and 20 tons in weight, with an excellent level of precision in uniform deposit thickness.
The company also boasts the unique technology of “compound” electroless nickel plating, which enables enhanced hardness, wear resistance and tribological properties.
Nishina Industrial, which has acquired ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, constantly strives to maintain high product quality and develop as a company. It will continue to improve its technology and hire and train a wide range of competent people to create a solid foundation of long-term prosperity.
34 certified leading-edge companies
- Acoma Medical Industry Co., Ltd.
- Antenna Giken Co., Ltd.
- Arai Helmet Ltd.
- Asahi Rubber Inc.
- ASAP Co., Ltd.
- Bellnix Co., Ltd.
- Calsonic Kansei Corporation
- Clarion Co., Ltd.
- Cosmo Research Corp.
- Goto Precision Engineering
- Hamamatsu Co., Ltd.
- Harves Co., Ltd.
- Hasegawa Machine Works Ltd.
- Hokkaimic Co., Ltd.
- Iino Manufacturing co., ltd.
- Kaneko Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
- Kimoto Co., Ltd.
- Koki Tec Corp.
- Nihon Dento Kougyo Co., Ltd.
- Nippon Piston Ring Co., Ltd.
- Nishina Industrial Co., Ltd.
- Nissan Motor Light Truck Co., Ltd.
- Nissho Electronics Co., Ltd.
- Nissin Kasei Co., Ltd.
- Nittoku Engineering Co., Ltd.
- Porite Corporation
- Science Inc
- Softronics Co., Ltd.
- Sumita Optical Glass, Inc.
- Tamron Co., Ltd.
- TechnoScope Co., Ltd.
- Tokyo Titanium Co., Ltd.
- Watanabe Co., Ltd.
- Yamada Machine Tool Co., Ltd.
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