For decades, Japan has been known for its solid, predictable financial landscape built on aversion to risk and long-term returns. As a result, according to a Deloitte report, it’s been striving to attract investors and venture capitalists. Yet, in the last few years, the Japanese have been facing a much-welcomed revolution caused by fintech, a market that, in 2021, will be 15 times bigger than it was in 2015. The reason is that the fintech scene has been evolving thanks to a few factors that are key to the success of entrepreneurs in the country:

Photo: Miyabi Inoue

Support from the government – The Japanese Ministry of Economy understands that emergent fintech companies will bring innovation, competitiveness and jobs. In a recent publication, the ministry commits to a more modern regulatory framework, promoting such innovations as application programming interfaces (API) and Blockchain and electronic data exchange (EDI), especially among small and medium-size companies.

New regulation – In March 2019, the Japanese authorities set new rules for the Blockchain and fintech markets, offering more security and transparency to investors. The government is also studying new regulations for banks, which would potentially help new competitors, especially the ones involved with emerging technologies.

A strong ecosystem – Recently-founded associations such as Fintech Association of Japan and hubs like Finolab are helping to create a strong ecosystem of companies, united to learn from and help each other.

Investors – Japan is one of the most important business & tech hubs of Asia, as well as a safe haven for low-interest rates seekers. It is also a forward-thinking country known for its innovative companies. These unique characteristics attract investors who are looking for disruptive but safe projects to fund.

Want to know more about Japan, the host country of SIGEF 2019? Follow our posts on Horyou blog.

SIGEF 2019 will take place in Tokyo on 18-19 September.

Tokyo will host the next SIGEF as it plans to become an example of sustainability by 2020

Tokyo is the host city of the 6th edition of SIGEF

Tokyo wants to set a good example for the world. As it braces to host the 2019’s edition of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, the city is aiming to reach the highest standards of sustainability by 2020, when it will also host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With its ‘Be Better Together – For the Planet and For the People’ slogan, Tokyo is indeed committed to develop sustainable solutions and showcase them to the world.

The Olympics are not the only reason the city is heavily investing in sustainability. 2020 is indeed the final date for a 7-year plan whereby the Japanese government aims to make Tokyo the ‘world’s most environmentally-friendly low-carbon city’. Part of the transformation includes the revitalization of the urban area while surrounding the city with water and greenery.

The initiatives are broad and they resonate with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to promoting ideas like zero waste and reducing carbon consumption, the city shall otherwise rely on technology to make the 2020 Games a landmark in sustainable management. One of the projects includes fuel cell vehicles and renewable energy (see image). The city wants to equalize the greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating public transportation, reusing water and recycling not only waste but also buildings – the plan includes using existing venues and avoiding building new ones.

These are some of 2020 Tokyo Olympics goals

The 2020 plan also includes:

– Creating more than 500 hectares of new green space in the city

– Ending free distribution of plastic shopping bags

– Equipping metro facilities with 100% LED lighting

– Using recycled metal for the production of all the medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo Medal Project)

– Equipping the Olympic stadium with solar-power and a rainwater retention system.

In order to promote so many changes in such a short time, the Japanese government is seeking partnerships with other countries, especially regarding public transportation, air pollution and waste management. Last year, the city hosted the Tokyo Forum for Clean City and Clean Air, gathering representatives from 22 cities around the world which shared their experiences in smart and sustainable management. Next September, Tokyo will host the 6th edition of SIGEF, the most important Social Innovation and Global Ethics forum in the world, organized by Horyou and covering the following topics:

  • Artificial Intelligence for Positive Change
  • Fintech and Blockchain
  • Sustainable Lifestyles
  • Technology and Life Extension
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Renewable and Future Energy

Over the next few weeks, Horyou blog will showcase all the initiatives that are being developed by the Japanese government to transform its capital – and the whole country – into an innovative, sustainable and peaceful society, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

More Stories

Venture capital is looking more into your company’s sustainability performance Sustainability in general, and The UN Sustainable Development Goals in particular, make for good business....