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How does Yokohama, Japan collaborate with and support US companies?

by | Mar 16, 2023

Yokohama City, Japan’s second largest city by population which is located very close to Tokyo, is a prime spot for international businesses looking to enter the Japanese market. However, barriers to entry such as language, and culture can make the prospect of doing business anywhere in Japan daunting for international companies, or make it hard to know where to start making connections when you don’t have any yet.


Luckily, the City of Yokohama has multiple international representative offices around the world that are positioned to assist global companies make headway into the Japanese market and begin making connections. For companies in the United States, the Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas located in New York is your connection to Yokohama city and an invaluable resource for you as you begin your exploration of the Japanese market.


In fact, despite our office being located in the US, we manage connections to Yokohama from the entire North and South American continents, meaning that companies from Canada, Mexico, etc. should be aware of the opportunity as well.


Your company may be wondering, “How can the City of Yokohama’s office help me?”


The Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas lists a wide variety of services on our website, including:

  • Market Intelligence & Research
  • Site Selection Assistance
  • Early-stage Business Support
  • Incentives Consulting
  • Networking Support
  • Workforce Information
  • Site Visit Facilitation
  • Public Relations Support
  • Collaboration Facilitation
  • Yokohama City Information


As of 2022, the Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas has assisted many different companies establish an office or official business in Yokohama, Japan. These companies include: AirBuy Inc, Cinter Technology Services, Mini-Circuits, Freyr Solutions, Paper Airplane, PlayEveryWare, Plasma-Therm LLC, and VectorBuilder.


We were able to assist these companies by providing them with information on Yokohama City, including potential locations for offices without the need for those companies to do independent research or physically travel to Japan, information on applicable incentive programs provided by the city and/or prefecture that could have been difficult to find, public relations support after the successful establishment of their office to announce their new office locally and establish a good reputation, and more.


Depending on their needs, for some of the companies that open offices in Yokohama, including Terracycle, we are able to assist in business matching operations with Yokohama-based companies to jumpstart their connections and networking locally, and much more. As an example, Terracycle, a recycling innovation company, went on to leverage their location in Yokohama to conduct numerous trial recycling projects in the city with the cooperation of the local government, including a program to recycle empty medicine blister packs, and one to recycle jelly-drink pouches.


Our office has also hosted virtual pitch events, an initiative started during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow international companies to pitch to an audience of relevant Yokohama-based and other Japanese companies. For example, in 2021 we hosted a “Global Sustainability Startup Pitch Event” featuring companies like ByFusion, Eavor, Enapter, GridMarket, and The Plastic Flamingo. Getting your company in front of the right eyes in a new country can be a challenge, but through pitch events like this, you can start having conversations with the right companies right away.


Even if you aren’t at a stage where you are ready to make the move to open an office in Japan, if you think the Japanese market would pose a lucrative opportunity for your company, it’s worth seriously looking into how you might be able to navigate that kind of international expansion. The Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas works with the needs of individual companies to create and/or present opportunities in Japan to connect with Japanese companies in Yokohama that fit target partnerships.


The Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas has also set up opportunities for North American business support companies to explore and establish client-bases in Yokohama. We worked with Galvanize, a software engineering and data science educational organization, to introduce and provide a sample educational program to key Yokohama-based companies to help with digital transformation.


No matter where you are in your exploration of expanding into Japan, reaching out to the Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to the Americas could help you find new and valuable opportunities and connections. There are many reasons why international companies have been choosing Yokohama over nearby areas like Tokyo, and we would be happy to work with you to figure out your needs in Japan and how we can help you in Japan.


Reach out to us through our contact form at any time, and keep an eye for the latest news from our website or LinkedIn, where we are active.

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