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Frequently Asked Questions

Establishment of Business Presence

To operate business in Okinawa, what types of business presence are available? And roughly how much costs and time will be required?
Foreign investors generally establish a business presence in Japan in one of three ways: company, branch office, and representative office. There are some other gradual corroborations, such as business matching and business alliance with company in Okinawa, before placing business presence in Okinawa.
Although company is the most common and trustworthy type of business presence in Japan, at least 5 million yen or more of capital is required if apply a “Business Manager Visa”, and procedure for registering establishment is necessary.
With branch office, capital isn’t necessary and sales activities are permitted in Japan; however, at least one representative who resides in Japan and registration procedures are required. As for representative office, procedure for registering establishment isn’t required, but sales activities are prohibited in Japan.
In the case of registering establishment of the company, it will take roughly 1 to 2 months and costs about 300 to 400 thousand Yen. If apply a “Business Manager Visa”, it will take 3 to 6 months and additional costs will be incurred. Duration and costs may differ on each situation, so please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center.
What kind of procedures are required for establishing company?

Generally following procedures are required for establishing company:

  1. (1) Determination of the company’s basic matters, such as trade name, purpose of business, capital amount, etc. and preparation of the articles of incorporation
  2. (2) Acquisition of a seal impression certificate for representatives, or a signature certificate from the country’s government authorities for those who living overseas
  3. (3) Notarization of the articles of incorporation at a notary office in Japan
  4. (4) Remittance of capital
  5. (5) Application at the Legal Affairs Bureau for registration of company establishment
  6. (6) Notice of company establishment to tax offices, social insurance offices, etc.

A variety of procedures are required, so Okinawa Investment Support Center can introduce variety of specialists with foreign language capability to you.

Status of Residence

When establishing a company and operating business in Japan, what kind of visa is necessary?

Practically, foreigner can establish a company or branch in Japan without acquiring a visa. However, if reside in Japan and operate business activities as a representative who runs the company or a manager, a “Business Manager Visa” is required. In addition, the employer needs to employ foreigner who acquired appropriate visa correspond to the types of work.
Generally speaking, it is required for acquiring a “Business Manager Visa” as a representative to secure an office, and either to invest at least 5 million yen or more of capital, or to hire at least two full-time employees.
Moreover, it is needed for obtaining a “Business Manager Visa” as a manager to have at least 3 year experience of business management or administration and to receive remuneration as well as or more than that earned by Japanese worker who engage in the same type of work.
Generally, it will take 3 to 6 months to acquire a “Business Manager Visa”.

Can you introduce professionals for visa-related matters with foreign language capability?
Visa related procedures are handled by an administrative scrivener. Okinawa Investment Support Center can introduce them to you.

Special Economic Zones

Is there any preferential tax treatments?
Okinawa has a variety of preferential tax treatments, including up to 40 % of deductions from taxable income, investment tax credit that a fixed percentage of the acquisition cost will be deducted from corporate taxes, if conditions are met.
For details, please click here, PDF “Preferential tax treatments in special economic zones”.
How can I confirm the availability of a leased factory or land for sale in International Logistics Hub Industry Development Zone of Uruma/Okinawa Area?
A variety of manufacturers and IT companies have gathered in special economic zones of Uruma/Okinawa Area, and several companies are considering moving in. For the latest information, including availability, please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center.
Are there subsidies available when acquiring a land for sale in International Logistics Hub Industry Development Zone of Uruma/Okinawa Area?
Applicable business operator, such as manufacturers, who have acquired a land above a certain scale in a designated area of the Uruma/Okinawa and commence operation, can get a subsidy up to 50 % of the acquisition costs, if conditions are met.
For details, please click here, PDF “Support for Reducing Initial Investments”.

Employment/Labor Costs

Are there subsidies related to hiring?
Business proprietor who have established business with office in Okinawa, accompanied with hiring at least 3 applicants for employment who are younger than 35 years old, are eligible to procure subsidy in a portion of salaries paid, up to 1.2 million Yen per person annually for 2 years at a maximum.
For details, please click here, PDF “Staffing and Training Support”.
How much is the average personnel costs in Okinawa?
The average salary in Okinawa is about ¥220,000 per month. Aside from salary, employer needs to cover social insurance costs roughly 16% of salary paid.
Average salary by industry in Okinawa with more than 30 employees is as follows:
Reference Example:
Manufacturing: ¥230,000
Information and communication industry: ¥320,000
Service industry: ¥160,000
Refer to “Annual Labor Statistics Survey, April 2018”, Okinawa Prefecture
Supplementary information: Okinawa’s Minimum wage: ¥762 per hour

Information/Communications Industry

How is the condition of information communication environment?
Okinawa prefecture maintains an information communication environment as one package comprised of the optical submarine cable which directly connects the Tokyo Metropolitan area, Okinawa, and Asia; the Okinawa Cloud Network, which interconnects major data centers within Okinawa; and cloud data centers, providing a safer and highly reliable information communication network. Additionally, part of communication fees for lines connecting Okinawa with external locations can be subsidized, up to half of monthly usage fees and 30 million Yen in annual total fees per company, if conditions are met.
For details, please check the following web page, “Information/Communications Industry Business Establishment Guide”.
Is there any grants available in Okinawa for information and communications industry?
There are grants for invested fixed asset acquisition expenses, which subsidize 5 % of acquisition costs up to 1 billion Yen, and for hiring local employee, for information and communications industry.
For details, please click here.

Company Visit Attending

Can you arrange company visit in Okinawa and attend on my visit?
We can assist you depending on the purpose of your visit. Moreover, we can introduce appropriate company for your purpose, and also arrange the schedule.
For details, please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center.

Business Matching

Can you introduce some companies for business matching?
It will depend on conditions. In order to know specifically what kind of matching you want, please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center first.

Real Estate

Do I need a Japanese guarantor for leasing property?
In most cases, a Japanese guarantor is necessary. However, it may be treated on a case-by-case basis subject to conditions.
Is it possible to acquire a “Business Manager Visa” with a virtual office or rental office?
Because it’s necessary to secure an office in Japan for acquiring a “Business Manager Visa”, it is difficult to acquire one with an address-only virtual office. However, if conditions are met, such as size of office, it may be possible to obtain a “Business Manager Visa” with a rental office. There are all sorts of cases, so please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center first.

Other

Can you tell me about Okinawa’s international logistics network?
Okinawa Prefectures has been working on structuring an international logistics network centered on Naha Airport and Naha Port, Okinawa’s sky and sea gateways.
For details, please click here.
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Can you tell me about Naha Port’s marine transport network?
At Naha Port, there are regular international container routes running through Taiwan, North America, China, and Philippines, and regular domestic routes running through Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Hakata, Kagoshima, as of March 2018. In 2019, the Naha Port General Logistics Center will be opened next to the Naha International Container Terminal in order to enhance logistics and accumulate distributive processing industries.
Do applications for approvals and licenses need to be wrote down in Japanese?
Generally, it’s necessary to write them down in Japanese.
Okinawa Investment Support Center can introduce experts such as translation agencies and consultants, etc., in Okinawa upon your request.
Can you introduce interpreting agencies?
We can introduce several interpreting agencies in Okinawa.
For details, please contact Okinawa Investment Support Center.
Can you introduce foreign-language-capable consulting companies?
We can introduce several consulting companies in Okinawa.
For details, please Okinawa Investment Support Center.

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Overseas and Business Support Division, Okinawa Industry Promotion Public Corporation

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