Information to support new challenges and startups


What are the 5 appeals and advantages of starting a business in Okinawa?

According to the 2020 national census, Okinawa ranked 44th among the 47 prefectures in Japan in terms of area, but 25th in terms of population (1,468,410 people) and 8th in terms of population density (after Chiba and Fukuoka). When you first visit Naha, the center of the main island of Okinawa, you will be surprised at its development, which is hard to believe for a regional city at the southern end of the country. Moreover, Okinawa is a place that offers many possibilities not found in other regional cities.

1. Geographical Potential as a Gateway to Asia

Asia, if China is added to the 10 ASEAN member countries, forms a huge market of 2 billion people that far exceeds the economic zones of the EU and NAFTA. Okinawa is located in the geographic center of the region. In Okinawa, an excellent air logistics and marine transportation network were established. They are also working to strengthen their international logistics base functions and IT infrastructure. In the future, Okinawa is expected to play a role as a business gateway and hub connecting Asia and Japan.

2. Resources and culture that differ from those of the mainland, as well as social challenges, may become opportunities

Yanbaru mountains with great potential 

In addition to marine resources, Okinawa has a rich natural environment with vegetation that differs from that of mainland Japan. The biological resources created by the natural characteristics of the subtropical zone have great potential for industrial use. We could say that in addition to businesses for domestic and international tourism, Okinawa’s many social issues, in turn, present great business opportunities that have yet to be tapped.

3. Improved startup support measures through government-private sector collaboration

Startup Support Center「Start up Lab Lagoon NAHA

In parallel with the development of tangible aspects, the prefecture is strengthening its startup support system through government-private sector collaboration and is focusing on business startup support facilities and human resource development projects. Okinawa’s unique pitch events, which also serve as fundraising activities, as well as support grants and subsidies, provide an environment in which multifaceted support is available for free.

4. Tax incentives, improvement of subsidies & grant system

Based on the Okinawa Promotion Special Measures Law, a special economic zone system and regional taxation system have been established, allowing businesses to benefit from special exceptions such as high rates of income tax deductions and investment tax credits that are not available in other prefectures. In addition, there is an extensive subsidy and grant system, which is utilized by many startup companies and second-stage businesses.

5. Improving life and work balance

 Unlike urban areas on the mainland, Okinawa offers abundant nature just a short drive away. Many people say that their lives have become richer since moving to Okinawa, as they spend less time commuting and more time with their families. With the many coworking spaces and other facilities popping up one after another in various locations, it is possible to enjoy the resort environment and take on new business challenges while living a new lifestyle.

If you are considering starting a business in Okinawa
or would like information about entrepreneurship,
please feel free to contact us.