Activity Reports

Report: AJC Investment and Innovation Mission to Nagano, Niigata, and Toyama Prefecture

Cross-border collaboration between ASEAN and Japan

  • Cross-border collaboration between ASEAN and Japan are already present in the areas of Nagano, Niigata, and Toyama. 
  • There are more areas in which collaborations can still be had. 
  • Future plans are in the works to continue engaging the visited regions. 

13 delegates from ASEAN and Japan

From 11th March to 13th March 2024, 13 delegates embarked on a trip to explore the market and investment opportunities that could be had for their respective ASEAN countries and businesses. The delegation was made up of individuals from the ASEAN-Japan Centre, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Singapore representing their respective governments and businesses.

This trip saw the delegates visit the prefectures of Nagano, Niigata, and Toyama, where they met various local stakeholders, including the mayor of Hakuba village, Maruyama Toshiro.

One local stakeholder of Nagano, ALPICO Group, shared that they already have existing connections with the people of ASEAN. From selling ASEAN goods, to staffing programs, to technological collaborations, they are no stranger to working with the ASEAN countries and have identified these connections as a source of strength for their businesses.

It was also revealed by a local bank, Hachijuni Bank, that investment into Hakuba village from investors in ASEAN, especially from Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand have been on the rise in recent years.

The delegates of the ASEAN-Japan Centre posing for a group picture with local stakeholders in front of the Hakuba Village Hall.

The delegation then visited Myoko City in Niigata. There, Singaporean-owned real estate investment management company, Patience Capital Group, introduced the Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort and their relevant projects. In this case, the company remarked that in their efforts to develop the land, they are working together with the Japanese stakeholders to design it in a way that can benefit the local communities as well, contributing to the region’s revitalisation.

Jigoemon XVI introducing a teashop close to the Johana Hikiyama Kaikan.

For the last stop, the delegation arrived at Nanto City to visit Ohara Jigoemon XVI, a local master craftsman and advocate. Using the skills passed down in his family for 16 generations, he creates delicate lacquerware for tea ceremonies and exhibitions. He also contributes to the maintenance and repair of local cultural assets, such as the hikiyama festival floats and the an’ya-dai festival stalls. He has also participated as a speaker in TEDx events in Japan, the US, and Hong Kong. Through this, the delegates exchanged opinions on cultural preservation, as well as on how ASEAN and Japan can work together to preserve their local traditions and skills.

Seeing the unique arrangements that these local stakeholders have with ASEAN, the trip ended with the delegates inspired to maximise the benefits of the strong ties of ASEAN and Japan by engaging these regions in their future plans as well.

About the Event

AJC Investment and Innovation Mission to Nagano, Niigata, and Toyama Prefecture
Date: 11-13, March 2024
Locations: Matsumoto, Hakuba, Myoko, and Nanto
Organizers: ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), Enterprise Singapore (ESG)
Participants: 13 delegates (4 from Japan, 9 from ASEAN)

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