Yokohama has always been known as one of Japan’s leading industrial cities. The manufacturing sector in Yokohama is the fourth largest in the nation in scale, and ranks second after Kawasaki City in terms of amount of manufactured goods shipped. The area has seen a significant clustering of manufacturing companies; in addition to the headquarters of Nissan, 13 of the world’s top suppliers of automobile parts have established their Japanese subsidiaries or R&D facilities in Yokohama (MarkLines 2015). Furthermore, foreign companies such as Caterpillar Japan and KUKA Robotics Japan, as well as machine manufacturers, have recently made moves to establish R&D bases in the region. These companies are eying opportunities to partner with universities with strong science and technology programs gathered in the area, such as the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama National University, and Keio University.
A new trend among SME manufactures in Yokohama is the exploration of new fields such as design manufacturing that involve cross-industry collaboration, exemplified in the Yokohama Makers Village, a branding project by metal processing companies that have come together to make cutting-edge products by combining manufacturing technology with high class design. The city supports such creative endeavors in manufacturing by SMEs and startups through providing collaboration platforms such as ITOP Yokohama and LIP. Yokohama. IDEC Yokohama runs several incubation centers throughout the city and has published the “Yokohama Monozukuri Company Guide” in an effort to aid manufacturing SMEs’ product promotion activities. Furthermore, the city operates its very own Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which encourages SMEs to engage in new technology and product development.
The city has also invested in workforce development initiatives, operating its own Industrial Technology Support Center and collaborating with companies and local schools in workforce training efforts that include career education and internships.
At a Glance
- As of 2017, there are 88,058 people employed in the manufacturing sector in Yokohama. 15,482 (17.6%) were employed by food manufacturers, 13,487 (15.3%) by transportation equipment manufacturers, and 7,483 (8.5%) by metal product manufacturers.
- As of 2017, Yokohama has a total of 2,345 manufacturing establishments. Of the total, 403 (17.2%) are metal products manufacturers, 306 (13.0%) are manufacturers of product machinery and equipment, and 183 (7.8%) are manufacturers of electrical machinery and equipment.
IDEC Yokohama (Yokohama Industrial Development Corporation):
As the main SME support organization of the City, IDEC supports SMEs stabilize and strengthen their business bases, offers solutions for corporate management, promotes the launch of businesses and the development of overseas business, all with the objective of contributing to the vitality of Yokohama’s economy.
Key Companies & Organizations
- Caterpillar Japan LLC
- IRISO Electronics co.,ltd
- KUKA Japan K.K.
- Lasertec Corporation
- LEISTER TECHNOLOGIES Co.,Ltd
- NISSAN MOTOR CO.,LTD.
- OKAMURA CORPORATION
- ONO SOKKI CO., LTD
- SHINCRON CO., LTD.
- TÜV Rheinland Japan Ltd.