New Year’s Interview with Yoshiro Tasaka, Director of the Global Hub City Promotion Office, Shibuya City
Happy New Year! In this article, we talked to Yoshiro Tasaka — Director of the Global Hub City Promotion Office of Shibuya City — to ask him about Shibuya Startup Support’s highs and lows of 2022, and his plans for 2023.
How was 2022 for Shibuya Startup Support? Were there any new challenges or new changes that came about?
I think there were several new challenges this year, such as community building, organizing events, speaking at events outside of Japan, and expanding the Women’s Entrepreneurship Support Program. We are also applying for a special zone in Shibuya as a means of deregulation and launching a new media introducing Japanese startup ecosystems in English. However, this year was, after all, the year when Corona settled down and the visa holders finally came to Japan, and we provided our support for the first time.
What challenges did you face?
There are so many challenges that I don’t know which one to mention, but I think we still have a long way to go in our support for entrepreneurs from around the world. It is really difficult for international founders to raise funds and hire people in countries where English is not spoken. How to create support is a big issue going into the future.
Please tell us about a memorable experience.
I was impressed to see visa holders learning Japanese and pitching in in such a short period of time. It is really hard to come from abroad and start a business. If it were me, I’m sure it would be a great challenge. I would like to be able to support them more as they work hard to learn the language and pitch their products.
What do you want to achieve in 2023?
As I mentioned earlier, I would like to create a system that can support entrepreneurs coming from abroad, working on increasing the number of investor channels and creating a system for recruitment. I would also like to create partnerships between large companies and startups. It is difficult to set quantitative goals, but my main goal is to create a system that will enable the creation of an ecosystem on an ongoing basis.
This year, we will create an organization to support global startups. This organization is itself a startup. It will be a challenge, but I would like to develop Shibuya and Japan to be a good place for startups.
Please give a message to foreign startups and entrepreneurs who are considering expanding to Japan!
Japan is still developing as a startup country. However, it is still the third largest economy in the world. Many tech companies such as GAFA are making a lot of profit in Japan. Although there are still some difficulties with regard to the culture of startups, the ability for global startups to launch their business while living in a safe and secure social infrastructure cannot be disregarded. Please join us and start up in Shibuya, Japan. We look forward to your participation.