Priorities

This productive mission highlighted the commercial dimension of America’s “Rebalance to Asia,” and accelerated engagement in the bilateral priority sectors of energy and healthcare, which were the mission’s focus. Read how we are building on the momentum gained via the mission.

The Administration’s signature foreign direct investment program seeks to expand on the country’s status as the world’s preeminent destination for investment, and Japan – America’s second largest investor in stock terms – has much to offer.

Embassy Event Highlights

Embassy Market Alerts

Three Tools to Succeed in the U.S. Infrastructure Market

 Mr. Norman Anderson, President & CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure Inc. (http://www.cg-la.com) will be in Tokyo, Oct. 5-7, 2015. He will be giving a presentation at the NAFTA/Pacific Regional Public Private Partnerships Seminar on Oct. 6th at the Embassy of Canada to Japan.   He introduces three tools for Japanese companies to be successful and competitive in the global infrastructure marketplace.

  1. Strategic 100 North American Infrastructure Projects: The annual list of the top 100 strategic infrastructure projects in North America showcases the opportunities and realities of global infrastructure projects.  https://store.globalvipprojects.com/product/2015-strategic-top-100-north-america/
  2. 7th Annual North American Infrastructure Leadership Forum: This Leadership Forum will be held Oct. 26-28, in Washington DC, hosting the sponsors/owners of the Strategic 100 projects. Japanese firms are invited to attend to learn about current projects, business opportunities in future projects,  market trends and to network with executives from around the world.  http://www.cg-la.com/forums/nalf7/program
  3. Global ViP: This is a platform for all the world’s infrastructure project owner/sponsors to access expertise, technology, services or investment at any stage of the project’s development from anywhere in the world. Japanese cutting-edge firms and/or financial institutions can use this tool to reach project decision makers.  www.globalvipprojects.com

*The U.S. Commercial Service promotes the SelectUSA initiative. Our SelectUSA promotion programs should not be construed as an endorsement of any specific company, state or region in the U.S.

Sector News Briefs

Embassy Update

Third-Parties Update

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has chaired discussions with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) on regulatory and reimbursement issues for over 30 years. In September 2014, the agencies resumed and expanded the coverage of these discussions.

Sector News Briefs

The nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant resulting from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Northeast Japan released large amounts of radiological material into the surrounding environment and led to the evacuation of most of the residents living within a 19-mile radius of the plant. Commercial Service Japan (CS Japan), as part of the U.S. Embassy team, is committed to providing U.S. firms with the latest updates on this remediation work and opportunities. We will use this page to provide critical information in the form of “Market Alerts” to U.S. firms with technologies and know-how that are ready to engage in the work of nuclear remediation and the storage and/or disposal of contaminated materials.

Japan is experiencing the biggest energy reform in its history.  The electric power industry is undergoing an unprecedented liberalization to be completed, in stages, by 2020.  The resulting $67.6 billion market represents many new opportunities to U.S. exporters of both products and services.  Japan seeks to fulfill both a renewed commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 26 percent and to provide plentiful energy for its economy.  U.S. exporters should be interested in Japan’s 2030 energy-mix target policy which sees roles for renewable, nuclear, LNG and other thermal energy sources.  In the renewable space, Japan provides attractive feed-in tariff rates covering: solar, wind, off-shore wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass generation.  Even though all of Japan’s nuclear generation remains offline, the government is forecasting that some nuclear power plants will restart in the near term and may account for at least 20% of the nation’s energy demand by 2030.  In addition, the market to decommission older nuclear power plants is truly a growth industry in Japan for the foreseeable future.

Embassy Event Highlights

Sector News Briefs

  • METI decides on energy mix for 2030 – Most papers ran inside-page reports on METI’s approval on Thursday of a plan to set nuclear power’s share of Japan’s energy mix by 2030 at 20%-22% by scaling back the use of fossils fuel and expanding renewable energy sources to 22%-24%. The decision was made following a month-long period for public comment.

Embassy Market Alerts

Smart Grid Market Alert #1: New RFP – TEPCO Seeks Suppliers on Next Generation Monitoring and Control System Development

April 28, 2015: TEPCO Announces Guidelines for Application of the RFP

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Market Alert service provides U.S. firms with important developments and notably new Requests for Proposal (RFP) on smart grid projects in Japan.

Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) newly established Power Grid Company (PGC) announced RFP application guidelines officially on April 28.  The RFP title is “Request for Proposal Relating to the Next Generation Monitoring and Control System Development”.

The utility’s website noted that, since the inauguration of the new PGC, their new business plan stipulated that TEPCO needs to reduce “wheeling costs”; to secure the stable supply of electric power; to enhance the network environment; and to expand its business territory overseas.  The utility believes that they need to upgrade its monitoring and control system also in order to correspond to the aforementioned changes.

The RFP is to call for a “Next Generation Monitoring and Control System”, which an improvement on their current “2-Layer Control System” that conducts two layers of monitoring and control of “regional transmission” and “distribution”.

By introducing the new system, TEPCO wants to achieve “Cost Reduction”, “International Standardization” and “Secure Operation Quality”; thereby securing its “extensibility” for further operational efficiency and rationalization in the future.  The website asserts that their establishment of this new system is vital to the mission of PGC.

Please note that the goal of this RFP is to select a system integrator who is capable of carrying out the system development and its initial deployment.

PGC says it will deliberate and select the system integrator considering both technological aspects and the costs, based on the submitted RFP’s.

Here are some important features of the RFP that US firms need to bear in mind:

  • What You Can Offer in RFP: All system/communication devices (include H/W, S/W) which constitute the current “2-Layer Control System”, except for the remote monitoring control devices (TC) installed in the substation
  • Period of Application for Participation (Very Short): Tuesday, Apr 28,2015 – Wednesday, May 13,2015
  • Eligibility: Participant must have the ability to build a total system of the Next Generation Monitoring and Control as a system integrator.  Participants must fulfill all eligibilities listed in “Guidelines for Application RFP Relating Next Generation Monitoring and Control System Development”.
  • Application Method: To begin with, 3 documents such as Application Form; The Latest Company Profile (Report on Financial Accounts); Application Form of Entry Qualification (Technical Requirements) must reach to TEPCO via mail by Japan Standard Time 24:00, Wednesday, May 13.  The fourth document, Operation Results Certificate, must arrive by Wednesday, May 20.  The fifth and the final document, Written Oath, by Thursday, June 4, 2015.
  • Selection Process: TEPCO’s guidelines noted that TEPCO will fairly and strictly conduct the eligibility review based on the required documents.  TEPCO will notify each Participant of the result of its eligibility review by Monday, June 1, 2015.  TEPCO will also notify the participants who are not able to pass the eligibility review.  Thereafter, TEPCO will hold a RFP Information Session on Friday, June 5, only for Attendees who pass the eligibility review, by invitation.  TEPCO will finally select the Supplier through their screening, adjustment, and so on, based on the guideline 3.5 “Schedule before System development startup (Planned)” and 5.1 “Flows from public invitation to contract”.

Official Announcement, Guidelines, Application Forms, and all other necessary information are published here.

CS Japan is ready to assist U.S. firms who wish to submit their proposals by offering counseling on the proposal process and providing assistance in finding appropriate partners, locating necessary language support and engineering expertise, and contacting government officials who are engaged in the RFP.

For further information or assistance, please contact: Takahiko Suzuki, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Japan, U.S. Embassy Tokyo at takahiko.suzuki@trade.gov

Tourism is the No. 1 services export of the United States. Moreover, Japan is the No. 1 source for overseas tourists to the United States generating some $18 billion in export equivalent spending. A record 18.5 million Japanese traveled abroad in 2012, and the United States was the destination for about one in every five Japanese tourists, who headed in one-third shares to Guam, Hawaii, and the mainland. But it is not only inbound traffic that benefits an economy. Meeting the needs of domestic Japanese tourists and those traveling to third countries is also a big opportunity for U.S. businesses. Moreover, the sector reaches beyond jobs and prosperity. Tourism is also a facilitator of trade and investment and a stabilizing force in international relations. Read more here.

Embassy Event Highlights

The announcement of the award of the 2020 Olympic & Para-Olympic Games to Tokyo on September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires was banner news globally and, of course, in Japan, where it has been viewed as recognition of the country’s resilience and overall attractiveness – and as a potential impulse for further progress perhaps on par with the notable leap Japan made through hosting the 1964 Games, its last opportunity for the summer series. Opportunities for U.S. and global firms abound from global and local sponsorship, to temporary and permanent venue construction, to services and ancillary infrastructure that will be in demand through the ramp-up. In addition to the Embassy’s support for an interest in the Games, ACCJ has been a leader in supporting Japan’s successful bid and, since award, has formed a Task Force on the 2020 games, formed in concert with other foreign chambers.

Market Alerts

After years of discussion, Diet members introduced a Gaming Promotion Bill to the Lower House in December 2013 that would allow for the development of “integrated resorts,” large-scale, mixed-use developments including casinos and hotels, as well as shopping, convention and entertainment facilities) to drive inbound tourism and business visitors, ideally for some, in time to create added capacity to maximize travel connected to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. While gaming legislation was not approved in 2014, many observers believe the proposal will resurface in the next session of the new Lower House of the Diet. U.S. firms, again partially represented by an ACCJ Task Force, have much experience and expertise to offer Japan.

Embassy Market Alerts

In 1997, approximately 47,000 Japanese studied at U.S. institutions of higher education, making Japan the top “sending country” of international students to the United States. Over the last 18 years, however, that number has declined by nearly 60 percent to just under 20,000, and Japan has slipped in the rankings to become the seventh sending country, far behind regional neighbors like China and the Republic of Korea. To address this issue, President Obama and Prime Minister Abe during their April 2014 summit in Tokyo endorsed a goal to double the number of bilateral exchanges between both countries by 2020.

The Japanese Government has launched major initiatives and scholarships to promote the internationalization of its universities and their students. The Abe Administration has proposed a series of education reforms to prepare Japan for the 2020 Olympics and nurture its future workforce to become global citizens. Suggested reforms include moving compulsory English classes from 5th and 6th grade to start as early as 3rd grade and making TOEFL a potential entry requirement for university admissions.

Two initiatives of interest include:

1. Super Global Universities: The Japanese Government has allocated $77 million USD (to be distributed over 10 years) for selected universities and designated specific funding to recruit international students, hire diverse faculty members, and encourage study abroad.

2. Tobitate! Ryugaku Japan: The Japanese Ministry of Education launched a new program to double the number of youths studying abroad in 2014. The Ministry wants to increase the number of college students studying abroad from about 60,000 in 2010 to 120,000 by 2020. For high school students, the Ministry aims to raise the number from 30,000 in 2010 to 60,000 by 2020. Corporate sponsors and government funding will allow for financial aid to be provided to selected students.

Embassy Market Alerts

Please see below for reference reports compiled on the Education Sector.

For those interested in English Language related business opportunities in Japan, please reference the following report.

The defense, security and cyber sectors have been big business for the U.S. in Japan for decades: FMS, direct commercial sales, and licensed production in Japan contribute to the U.S. services trade surplus with our treaty ally. CS Japan’s advocacy docket centers on aerospace and defense. Several factors appear to be converging that may boost defense sales to – and collaboration with – Japan further in the coming years: the GOJ is overhauling its defense requirements/budget, acquisition systems, and policies on collective defense and arms exports, at the same time the United States is upgrading Asian alliances and reforming export controls. Finally, the USG and GOJ are revising joint defense guidelines for the first time in a quarter-century, in part to foster still greater inter-operability.

Embassy Event Highlights

Embassy Market Alerts

Sector News Briefs

The Trans Pacific Partnership is much talked about and everyone seems to have an opinion about it.  What is at stake?  How will it impact various industry and jobs in the United States?  Arm yourself with the facts as presented by the U.S. negotiators (the United States Trade Representative) in the following summary. 

Sector News Briefs

Japan’s population is aging rapidly with those aged over 65 reaching 26% in 2014, and forecasts are projecting that one in every three persons will be over 65 years by 2050.  For Japan to serve its aging population, the market is growing for in-home care devices and services, and health IT related products. Due to stronger consumer health concerns, other promising growth areas include self-care and preventive care medical devices and products.

Sector News Briefs

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