Overview of the Special Zone Programs

Key Deregulation Measures

NSSZ
Program to increase foreign entrepreneurs

Smoother business startups in Tokyo by foreign nationals through deregulation

Foreign nationals wishing to start up business in Japan need to obtain a “business manager” visa. To receive this status of residence, in addition to opening an office, the applicant must employ at least two people full-time, or invest at least 5 million yen in Japan. This presents a high hurdle to prospective foreign entrepreneurs.

In this program to increase foreign entrepreneurs, applicants can receive status of residence (business manager) for half a year even if these conditions are not met, if business plans and other necessary information are submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirms that the applicant has prospects for fulfilling the conditions within that half year.

The Business Development Center TOKYO will provide individual support so that the foreign entrepreneur will be able to fulfill the conditions by the end of the six months, and renew his/her status of residence.

NSSZ
Regulations that apply to operating accommodation facilities for foreign visitors

(Special exemption to the Inns and Hotels Act)

In principle, the Inns and Hotels Act applies to accommodation facilities where the period of stay is under one month, making appointments such as a front desk mandatory. Under this special exemption program, business operators who fulfill the requirements* stipulated in the Order for Enforcement of the Act on National Strategic Special Zones, and are certified by the prefectural governor or the city/ward mayor in municipalities authorized to establish public health centers, will be exempt from the Inns and Hotels Act, even when the period of stay is under one month.
*Requirements Period of stay: A minimum of 7-10 days, as set forth in the ordinance
Room size: In principle, at least 25m2
Additional conditions apply

At the end of 2015, Ota Ward established an ordinance concerning the special provision to the Inns and Hotels Act, and was the first in Japan to start up operation from January 2016.

Overview of special provision to the Inns and Hotels Act (The Cabinet Office website)*Japanese only

Laws relating to the Inns and Hotels Act (The Cabinet Office website)*Japanese only

Projects utilizing the special provisions to the Inns and Hotels Act in Ota Ward (Ota Ward website)*Japanese only

AHQ
Quicker immigration process and simplified documents (special exception for immigration procedures)

Simplification of documents to be submitted

When a foreign national scheduled to work at a Tokyo Metropolitan Government-approved company※1applies to the Immigration Bureau for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence (CoE), documents required to process the application for status of residence, which had already been submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) by the company when applying for approval, do not need to be submitted again if the documents had been transferred from the TMG to the Immigration Bureau.

※1 Company receiving approval based on the Outline of Matters Concerning Approval as a Multinational Corporation Operating a Regional Headquarters or R&D Center in the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters *Japanese only

審査に係る提出書類の簡素化

Quicker immigration process

The period for processing an application for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence will be shortened to about 10 days from the standard processing period of one to three months.

Processing Period
  1. Conventional

    1ヶ月~3ヶ月程度
  2. at a TMG-approved company

    10日程度

AHQ
Deregulation of Status of Residence acquisition requirements for employees of foreign companies

When a foreign company preparing to establish a new branch uses a specified facility※3 as its office, employees of the company can receive Status of Residence as “Intra-company Transferee” assuming that the other immigration conditions for this status are satisfied.

※3 Specified facility: アジアヘッドクォーター特区地域協議会の民間事業者が提供する施設

See the facilities provided by private businesses that belong to the Regional Council for the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters

Facility 1

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
(Name) Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
(Address) 2-1-1, Nihombashi-muro-machi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) M-FIELD Kasumigaseki
(Address) 5th floor, Kasumigaseki Building, 3-2-5, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(Designated properties)
Following 32 rooms
(Room #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-1, 13-2, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)

Facility 2

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
<(Name) Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
(Address) 2-1-1, Nihombashi-muro-machi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo/dd>
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) Kasumigaseki Building
(Address) 3-2-5, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(Designated properties)
2 rooms (4th floor #406, 26th floor #2620A)

Facility 3

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
(Name) Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
(Address) 2-1-1, Nihombashi-muro-machi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) GRAN TOKYO NORTH TOWER
(Address) 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(Designated properties)
1 room (36th floor #3603)

Facility 4

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
(Name) Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.
(Address) 1-6-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) EGG JAPAN
(Address) 9th and 10th floor, Shin-Marunouchi Building, 1-5-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Designated properties)
Following 34 rooms
9th floor 11 rooms (Office #24~ #34)
10th floor 23 rooms (Office #1~ #23)

Facility 5

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
(Name) Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Ltd.
(Address) 2-4-1, Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) SOHO residence, CENTRAL PARK TOWER La Tour SHINJUKU (Address) 6-15-1, Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.
(Designated properties).
Following 37 rooms.
4th floor 10 rooms (#401~ #405, #410~ #414).
5th floor 7 rooms (#501~ #505, #510~ #511).
6th floor 10 rooms (#601~ #610).
7th floor 10 rooms (#701~ #710)

Facility 6

Name and address of facility provider (owner)
(Name) Japan External Trade Organization
(Address) 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Overview of facilities provided
(Name) JETRO Invest Japan Business Support Center
(Address) 7th floor, Ark Mori building, 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(Designated properties)
Temporary office 23 rooms (#1~ #23)

AHQ
Special addition of points needed for points-based preferential immigration treatment for highly-skilled foreign professionals

Foreign nationals who are working for a either a company engaging in supervisory business or research and development business within Tokyo’s Special Zone for Asian Headquarters, which have been designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG)※4 , or a company subsidized by the TMG to establish a business site*5 , will be granted special additional points for application for Status of Residence approval as a “Highly Skilled Professional (i) or “Highly Skilled Professional (ii).”

※4 Companies approved under “Outline of Matters Concerning Certification as a Multinational Enterprise Engaging in Supervisory Business or Research and Development Business in the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters and Other Areas Within Tokyo”
※5 Reference:Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice website regarding “highly-skilled foreign professionals”

AHQ
Improving visitor convenience from Haneda Airport to MICE※7facilities (exception to the Marine Transportation Act)

An exception to the Act now allows non-scheduled passenger vessel operators to offer one-way passenger transport services between Haneda Airport and MICE facilities for the enhanced convenience of MICE participants. This supports efforts to bring international conferences to Tokyo.

※7MICE: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions

羽田空港からMICE会場への旅客利便性の向上