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SAN FRANCISCO, March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With a rapidly changing, quality business environment, the Government of Japan launched a series of events in the United States to signal that "Japan is opening up to foreign businesses." Discussions were held around opportunities in Japan's lucrative and intelligent healthcare market. On February 12, the first "Japan You Didn't Know" roundtable event kicked off in San Francisco at the office of global management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney, followed by a second event in Chicago on February 14.
Forty industry experts, innovators, healthcare companies and thought leaders from San Francisco and Chicago attended the events, which featured panelists Takashi Shimada, former president of Medtronic Japan, and Hiroshi Menjo, managing director for Net Services Ventures.
The events discussed the impact of the new wave of science, technology, consumerization and personalization sweeping Japan, how the country is adapting its policy and regulatory framework to welcome United States investors and deliver predictable conditions for growth and what makes Japan an attractive and intelligent market for healthcare companies looking to expand their business abroad.
Japan boasts the world's third largest economy and has seen seven straight quarters of stable macroeconomic growth. Japan is also the second largest single-country pharma market at 13 percent following the U.S., and the medical device sector continues to grow in the country. Driven by a transformation of the market by means of deregulation and international free trade deals, Japan is designing an efficient and productive environment that welcomes foreign business for future opportunities in healthcare.
"Device and drug lag used to be an inhibitor to foreign companies entering the Japanese market," said Takashi Shimada, former president of Medtronic Japan. "However, these delays have been reviewed and shortened dramatically since 2009. Additionally, the early approval system for innovative medical devices was introduced in 2017, and this is improving the approval period for products. We hope this encourages companies to invest with confidence in our market."
In the healthcare sector, Japan's aging society points to a global trend where longevity is connected to enhanced business opportunity. Over 20 percent of Japan's population is aged 65 and above. The Japanese senior population will continue growing until 2040, while the overall population is decreasing. The implication is that medical costs will increase with the aging population, as patients develop more chronic diseases. This is forcing the country to evolve patient needs in the coming years while creating an exciting testbed for the healthcare industry.
"Japan's large aging population presents foreign companies with an excellent model for innovation to assist not only our citizens, but also the elderly population globally," said Hiroshi Menjo, managing director for Net Services Ventures. "Japan is well known for and already using AI and robotics to address the aging market. We are shifting the use of robotics from the industrial setting to helping people in everyday life."
Japan is quickly becoming an anti-aging 'Center of Excellence' through its advancement of regenerative medicine, which can improve an individual's overall health and wellness by reducing the effects of aging. Through deregulation (the passage of key legislation and the introduction of a provisional license system), the country now has the shortest approval time for regenerative medicine commercialization.
"Disruptive technologies have the ability to address the future of health. Investment in start-ups can increase the speed of growth to create the next wave of incredible products," Menjo continued. "This is where the U.S. companies can really pick and choose their scientific innovation in Japan."
The Government of Japan continues to transform its market into a quality business environment to meet the needs of worldwide businesses through strategic investments and international partnerships. By providing world-leading, high-value business capital that enables companies to expand and thrive, the country is generating new and exciting opportunities in an economy that is syncing its regulations with those of other advanced economies to enable seamless transition for companies ready to expand into new growth markets.
Counsellor, Office of Global Communications, Prime Minister's Office
For more information on setting up business in Japan,
please contact JETRO* offices in the USA below.
*JETRO: the Japan External Trade Organization https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/
JETRO New York
Director of Business Development
JETRO Los Angeles
JETRO San Francisco
Director of Business Development
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