Overview of the Special Zone Programs

Advantages of the Special Zones

Here we introduce the various advantages available to foreign companies setting up business in Tokyo’s special zones.

AHQ
…Advantages provided within the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters
NSSZ
…Advantages provided within the Tokyo Area National Strategic Special Zone

Tax incentives

AHQNSSZ
Tax incentives

AHQ

Foreign companies newly setting up business (Asian regional headquarters/R&D center) within the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters can be subject to one of the following national tax incentives if certain conditions are fulfilled: (1)special depreciation, (2)investment tax credit.

On top of this, metropolitan tax incentives can be applied such as the exemption of fixed assets tax, city planning tax and real estate acquisition tax (applied on top of (1) or (2) above).

NSSZ

Companies directly engaged in a designated business in the NSSZ (companies receiving designation by the Minister of State for the National Strategic Special Zones) are eligible for a taxable income deduction of 20% if they fulfill certain conditions.

When acquiring machinery within the zone, it can also be subject to either (1) or (2) below. If the company fulfills certain conditions, it can be subject to special fixed asset tax measures and special tax measures for national strategic private sector urban renewal projects.

  1. Special depreciation
    Machinery, etc. : 50%*deduction; Buildings, etc. : 25% deduction
    **immediate depreciation in the case of designated core projects (covers the medical field including health care using advanced technologies)
  2. Investment tax credit
    Machinery, etc. : 15% deduction; Buildings, etc. : 8% deduction

Entire Aria of Tokyo
Subsidy program

Overseas Financial Corporation Business Operations Establishment Subsidy Program

In order to put active effort into attracting overseas financial corporations*1 to Tokyo, this program grants subsidies to overseas financial corporations to cover a part of the costs incurred, such as the cost of recruiting personnel, in establishing new business operations (Japanese corporations, etc*2.) in Tokyo.
*1Corporations engaged in asset management businesses or FinTech businesses, established based on foreign laws.
*2Refers to Japanese corporations or Japanese branch offices established by overseas financial corporations.

補助金限度額 経費実額の1/2 ¥7,500,000限度

Special zone for Asian Headquarters Establishment subsidy program ended on 31st March,2017.

AHQ
Free consulting services

Free consulting services will be provided to foreign companies establishing an RHQ/R&D center in the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters.

  • Growth Strategy Planning Support
  • Market Research and Analysis Support
  • Business Partner Identification

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Low interest loans

If a foreign company newly setting up business (Asian regional headquarters/R&D center) within the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters takes out a loan from a designated financial institution in order to implement business according to the special zone project, as the financial institution will receive a subsidy from the national government equal to a portion of the interest, the companies will actually be receiving a low-interest loan.

See the following document for details.
"Low Interest Loans for Comprehensive Special Zones Guideline"

In addition, when companies such as startups and SMEs that fulfill the conditions prescribed in the Outline of Granting of Interest Subsidies for Loans in the National Strategic Special Zones take out loans from designated financial institutions for funds needed to implement specified businesses, the financial institutions will receive interest subsidies, which means that the companies will actually be receiving low-interest loans.

AHQ
Introduction of office space at a reduced rate

Serviced offices in the special zone may be available to foreign companies and entrepreneurs intending to start up business in Tokyo or are already doing so at 10 - 50% off of the regular rental rate for up to one year. Please note that the number of designated properties is limited. This service is offered by our partner, The Executive Centre.

The Executive Centre brochure

Deregulation Measures

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

When a foreign national scheduled to work at a Tokyo Metropolitan Government-approved company applies 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. In addition, 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.

AHQ
Expedited patent application reviews

R&D centers will be subject to shorter patent application examination and review with the period reduced from approximately 22.2 months to 1.9 months. Patent fees and application examination fees will be reduced by half for small to medium-sized companies.

See the following METI document for details.
"Act for Promotion of Japan as an Asian Business Center Guideline" pp. 15-18 (METI website)

AHQ
Reduction of investment prodedures

If a foreign investor gives advance notification of its intention to invest in a newly established Asian regional headquarters/R&D center, the statutory inaction period under the Foreign Exchange Act for direct investment will be shortened from 30 days to 2 weeks. In addition, small to medium-sized companies operating as Asian regional headquarters/R&D centers can receive investment from Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment & Consultation Co., Ltd.

See the following METI document for details.
"Act for Promotion of Japan as an Asian Business Center Guideline" pp. 9-12 (METI website)

Business and Living Support

Access to Tokyo
Access to Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government operates the “Access to Tokyo” in London, Paris, and San Francisco to respond to inquiries from and provide consultations to foreign companies considering the establishment of business in Tokyo as well as local hub organizations supporting the overseas business development of such companies.

NSSZ
Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center

Staff dispatched by the relevent ministries and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are available for providing support on filling out applications required for incorporation and start of business and applications for issuance of Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status, and accept the applications. In addition, in response to requests from companies, multilanguage interpretation and translation services are also provided.

Entire Aria of Tokyo
Business Development Center TOKYO

Staff dispatched by the relevent ministries and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are available for providing support on filling out applications required for incorporation and start of business and applications for issuance of Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status, and accept the applications. In addition, in response to requests from companies, multilanguage interpretation and translation services are also provided.

NSSZ
Tokyo Employment Consultation Center

Lawyers and certified social insurance and labor consultants provide consultation on employment and labor issues to startups and companies entering the Japanese market from overseas so they can accurately understand Japanese employment regulations and smoothly expand business.

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Provision of administrative and living information in multiple languages

Local municipal governments provide information in multiple languages concerning life related matters such as housing, education, child rearing, health care, and disaster preparedness, in addition to administrative procedures.

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Building a rich business and living environment

The special zone has an ideal business environment. This includes multipurpose office buildings equipped with sophisticated business support functions such as service apartments and MICE* facilities, and high-performance office buildings with earthquake resistant features and backup power systems.

An excellent living environment is also provided with medical facilities as well as international schools providing consultation in English and other languages.
*MICE: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions