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2009


September 2009
Showa Shell to Construct Mega Solar Cell Manufacturing Plant in Kyushu, with Production in Kyushu Expected to Account for 10% of World Total in 2012

 
map:Miyazaki
Kyushu is home to plants for four new solar-cell manufacturers with new technologies. In September 2009, one of these, Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (Showa Shell), announced plans to invest approximately $1 billion for a new factory with an annual production capacity of 900 megawatts in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu. With the new plant's production expected to commence in 2012, Kyushu's solar cell production capacity will exceed 1,100 megawatts per year, making the region a major production base accounting for 10% of the world total.

Showa Shell has developed CIS-based, thin-film solar cells requiring no silicon or cadmium and that are also price competitive, which have been sold by the company's subsidiary. Showa Shell decided to build the new plant upon seeing the prospects of enhancing efficiency through research and development and anticipating that the introduction of a feed-in-tariff system?a system of purchasing electricity generated by solar power panels at a fixed price?in Japan would increase demand for the panels. The company is also considering building another plant in the future.

In Kyushu, efforts have been made to create clusters of solar cell-related businesses in various areas ranging from materials-related to manufacturing equipment. It is expected that the solar cell-related industry will make Kyushu a base for the new industry.

At present, most solar cells produced in Japan are being exported to Europe. However, expansion of the domestic market can be expected, with the introduction of photovoltaic power systems in 2009 showing rapid growth at twice the rate of the previous year. In particular, Kyushu, an island located in the southwest of Japan, ranks top in Japan for the proliferation rate of residential photovoltaics at 2.1%, indicating that Kyushu is a higher-potential housing market than other regions in the country.


2009
Initiative to Promote Widespread Proliferation of Electric Cars in Nagasaki Pref., Kyushu

 
Together with companies and organizations, Nagasaki Prefecture is working to conduct a field test for a new service that combines widespread use of electric vehicles with the promotion of local tourism in the remote Goto Islands. Flourishing from the Middle Ages as a base for overseas trade, the Goto Islands is presently one of popular tourist destinations in Kyushu because of its beautiful sea and many historic sites, including Catholic churches, shrines, Buddhist temples and castle ruins.

In fiscal year 2009, the Nagasaki prefectural government plans to introduce about 100 electric vehicles as rental cars for tourists visiting the Goto Islands. Furthermore, the vehicles will be equipped with ITS (Intelligent Transport System), and infrastructure necessary for such electric cars, including parking lots with rapid chargers and ITS radio units, will be developed.

This will enable tourists to Goto to travel around the islands by electric vehicles and fully enjoy safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly driving supported by ITS car navigation systems that provide a wide variety of information including tourist attractions, local specialties, location of rapid charging stations, and ferry service schedules.

This project has been designated as a model project by the Japanese government, and Nagasaki Prefecture is working with automobile and electronics manufacturers as well as other companies to launch a council to promote the project.

* ITS:A new transportation system designed to resolve road transportation problems such as traffic accidents and heavy traffic by utilizing cutting-edge information and communications technology to develop an information network linking people, roads and vehicles.


2009
Cutting-Edge Cancer Treatment Technology in Kyushu

 
Kurume City,Saga
In Kyushu, a wide variety of research and development is being proactively promoted through collaborations between industry, government and academia. Among these, efforts are moving ahead toward practical use of the latest cutting-edge technology to treat and cure various cancers.

In Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, research and development of peptide vaccines for cancer treatment has been pursued by forming the Kurume Cutting-Edge Medical Research Cluster, led by Kurume University, with participation of institutions from industry, government and academia. Cancer peptide vaccine therapy is the “fourth therapy" for cancer, after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Peptide vaccine therapy has fewer side effects since vaccine dosages are individualized for each patient and the patient's own immune system is utilized to attack specific cancer cells.

Kurume University has played a leading role in the development of cancer vaccines in Japan, having established the country's first outpatient facility for vaccine administration to treat and cure cancer in April 2009, and conducting ongoing clinical trials for vaccines. This is a project commissioned by the Japanese government, and Kurume University will continue to focus its efforts on research toward commercialization of tailor-made therapies in which optimum peptide vaccines are administered after identifying the type of cancer and conducting genetic testing, and on reinforcement of cooperation with foreign research institutes. The ultimate goal of this project is to make the Kurume region a global center for research and development, by forming a cluster of cutting-edge medical-related research institutes and companies to attract patients in need of cancer vaccine therapy at home and abroad, and to perform clinical trials at the request of pharmaceutical companies throughout the world.

In Saga Prefecture, a project is under way to establish Japan's first non-governmental facility for heavy particle radiotherapy, with support of the prefectural government as well as the business and medical communities. Heavy particle radiotherapy is the most advanced method of cancer treatment, in which accelerator-propelled protons and carbon ions are aimed directly at cancer cells. This therapy minimizes damage to normal cells while delivering a damaging blow to cancer cells.

Construction work will start in 2010, with the facility scheduled to commence operations in 2013. A total of $170million is expected to be used for this project.


December 2, 2009
Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu ranks 2nd in Number of International Conventions Hosted in 2008

 
map:Fukuoka City
According to a survey conducted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) on the number of international conventions hosted in 2008 by each prefecture in Japan, Fukuoka Prefecture took second place with 219, behind Tokyo. On a city-by-city basis, Fukuoka City ranked 3rd, and among universities, Kyushu University attained first place for the second consecutive year.
To attract international conferences in particular, Fukuoka City has developed a zone that accommodates a concentration of convention facilities. Moreover, the city has enjoyed a high reputation from overseas convention participants for its easy accessibility from other Asian countries and warm hospitality extended to visitors by local people. From September to October 2012, the city is scheduled to host the International Congress of Urology, in which approximately 4,500 people from 105 countries are expected to participate.


Convention facility zone in Fukuoka City (Photo credit: Fukuoka City)

Ranking of Number of International Conventions Hosted in 2008, by Prefecture
1st Tokyo 486
2nd Fukuoka 219
3rd Kanagawa 192
4th Kyoto 180
5th Aichi 152


Ranking of Number of International Conventions Hosted in 2008, by City
1st Tokyo 480
2nd Yokohama 184
3rd Fukuoka 172
4th Kyoto 171
5th Nagoya 130


August 28, 2009
Toward Realization of Integrated Transborder Economic Region between Japan's Kyushu and Southeastern South Korea

 
map:Fukuoka City,Busan City
Fukuoka City in Kyushu, Japan and Busan City in South Korea have agreed to implement a joint project to promote inter-city cooperation. The aim of the project is to create an "integrated transborder economic region," which is expected to bring about a combined gross regional domestic product exceeding about $580 billion, by facilitating transborder collaboration between Kyushu and southeastern South Korea, both geographically close to each other. The conclusion of this agreement represents the first step toward that goal.

The Busan-Fukuoka Economic Cooperation Council, launched in October 2008 for the joint economic initiative, examined possible regional cooperation models and decided on collaboration between the two cities in four areas, including the promotion of business cooperation, development of human resources, exchanges on a daily basis, and joint requests to Japanese and South Korea government. As part of efforts to facilitate business cooperation, offices will be established, and forums designed for small and medium-size business CEOs and B2B meetings will be arranged. Furthermore, efforts to boost exchanges will include the introduction of electronic money that can be used in either city and the inauguration of new flight services to and from the two cities.

The initiative to create an integrated transborder economic region by promoting cooperation between the two regions, a political commitment also made by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, is expected to lead to further development of East Asia as a whole.


June 15, 2009
Fukuoka, Kyushu Selected among World’s Top 25 Cities for Quality of Life for 2nd Straight Year

 
map:Fukuoka City
The renowned British magazine Monocle ranked the world's top 25 most livable cities, and Fukuoka came in 16th place, up from 17th place last year. Zurich came out on top, and Tokyo (3rd) and Kyoto (22nd) in Japan also made the quality-of-life ranking list.

In the annual survey, the magazine assesses cities according to a wide variety of criteria, including public transportation, housing conditions, and education. Consideration is also given to unique factors such as the quality of architecture, climate that encourages new business entries, the number of international flights, and people's average shopping time. Fukuoka was voted one of the best places in the world because of its accessibility to other areas in Kyushu and the rest of Japan as well as its active exchanges with China and South Korea.

2008


Kyushu, the Center of Eco-Car Development in Japan

 

Annual production of vehicles in the Kyushu region is nearly 1.5 million, which is approximately 10% of the total in Japan. In 2007, the 1st Fukuoka International Motor Show ,following Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, was held and projects regarding electric vehicles and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the Kyushu region have been introduced all over the world. The Kyushu region is now known as the core region of eco-car research and development in Japan.

Electric Vehicles
The advantages of electric vehicles are no greenhouse gas emissions and lower running cost (one-tenth of gasoline-fueled vehicles). Key technologies for practical use of electric vehicles include increasing battery capacity and improving the electric-charge method. Kyushu Electric Power Co. Inc. has developed the latest lithium-ion battery and efficient electric-charge system. These are currently ongoing testing using "i-MiEV," developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.

Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicles
Kyushu University, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toyota Motor Corporation and Fukuoka prefectural government are jointly conducting both theoretical and practical studies for hydrogen energy research and development in the Kyushu region. Kyushu University, the core member of the research team, has been funded by a Japanese government research program, and has established the world's first graduate school specializing in integrated hydrogen energy engineering. Driving tests of a hydrogen-fueled car on campus and related experiments regarding the hydrogen infrastructure system have attracted the attention of many professionals worldwide.
[http://www.mech.kyushu-u.ac.jp/h2/english/]


Convention City Fukuoka

 

Fukuoka City has hosted more international conventions than any other city in Japan, except Tokyo and Kyoto. In 2006, the number of Asia-related international conventions increased 2.5 times from the previous year.

The advantages of Fukuoka City for international conferences and forums include:
- Easy access from major Asian cities
- High-quality and large-capacity convention halls and hotels
- Variety of nearby sightseeing spots
- Experience as a host city for major international events
(e.g., Summer Universidade in 1995, Asia Pacific Exposition in 1989)
- Smooth and effective support by the city government

The following are major conferences and forums held in Fukuoka City in 2007.
- The Asian International Forum in Fukuoka
Researchers and policymakers from various Asian countries have been invited and have discussed practical approaches regarding stability and prosperity in Asia.

- The 2nd International Hydrogen Energy Development Forum
This forum provided opportunities for exchange of business information and cutting-edge research results. Participants included the president of the U.S. National Hydrogen Association (NHA), Executive Director of the European Hydrogen Association (EHA), and other leaders from around the world.

- The Asian Pacific City Summit
[http://www.urc.or.jp/summit/index_e.php]
This summit has been held to solve urban problems in various Asian cities, such as water contamination and waste disposal issues. Promoting effective connections among major cities has also been a major concern.



ECO ASIA 2006

2007


Nov. 24
President Ghosn Nissan Values Their Kyushu Plant as Core Base with the Largest Production Capacity in Japan

 

Nissan Motors Co., Ltd.'s Kyushu plant, located in Fukuoka Pref., Kyushu region, will produce 650,000 vehicles in 2009 and become the largest Nissan factory in the world. It will also become the largest assembly plant of all automobile manufacturers in Japan.

Mr. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., recognizes their Kyushu plant as 'the most important plant for Nissan.' He says, "The Kyushu plant produces high-quality products, and has stronger cost competitiveness than other areas in Japan. Its distribution cost is low, because a quay is available at the port for our exclusive use. Furthermore, the employees are trying hard to achieve a result higher than their original target." He also aims to release strategic automobiles that can enjoy both high quality and low cost on the global market, through increasing Nissan's future exports from Kyushu.


Nov. 21
Fresenius Medical Care Germany Intensifies Their Kyushu Plants to Expand Their Share in Asia

 

Fresenius Medical Care AG, one of the major dialyzer manufacturers, has two plants in the Kyushu region, which are their only manufacturing facilities in Japan. The company intends to invest about 26 million dollars in these two plants, one in Fukuoka and the other in Oita. By extending the capacity of these plants in manufacturing artificial kidneys for dialysis treatment, the company aims to intensify the product supply system and increase their share in the Asian region including Japan.


Oct. 30
Korean Major Steel Corporation POSCO Group Establishes New Plant in Kitakyushu with Kotobuki Industries

 

Kotobuki Industries Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) and Posteel Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of POSCO, a major steel corporation in South Korea, will invest about 175,5 million dollars in building a new plant for their joint venture 'Asia Special Steel Co., Ltd.' (Tokyo) in Kitakyushu City. The plant will be furnished with an electric furnace and a steel ingot manufacturing facility and will start operations by the end of 2008. According to their plan, a hundred and fifty workers will be employed there.

This is the first manufacturing base in Japan for POSCO group companies. Kitakyushu City was chosen because it is close to South Korea, where there is a great demand for iron and steel.


Oct. 28
Indian Major IT Corp. Satyam Computer Services Expands to Fukuoka

 

Satyam Computer Services Ltd., one of the four leading IT corporations in India, will expand its business in Fukuoka City. The company will build a full-scale "System Development Center" for the first time in Kyushu, and start operations with about twenty members of staff from April next year.

Mr. Norihisa Ando, the representative director of the company, highly appreciates the Kyushu region. He says, "Kyushu is an attractive region with active business performances in automobile and semiconductor industries. Fukuoka City is the nearest large city to China and South Korea, and we have assessed that the city will become one of our main Asian bases in future."


Oct. 25
Fukuoka International School Accredited by the International Baccalaureate

 

'Fukuoka International School' has become the thirteenth school accredited by the 'International Baccalaureate' in Japan, and the first in Kyushu. IB is regarded as a university entrance qualification in most nations in the world. The 'educational infrastructure' has been advanced for employees and families of non-Japanese companies that start operations in Japan.


Sep. 5
Nippon Roballo Builds New Plant in Kitakyushu City to Manufacture Large-Size Bearings for Wind Power Generation

 

Nippon Roballo Co., Ltd., a German manufacturer of large-size bearings, intends to construct a new plant for manufacturing large-size bearings (rotation bearings) for wind power generation in Kitakyushu City at the cost of 4.5 billion yen. The site is 23,000 square meters and is located within the coastal industrial complex at Wakamatsu ward, Kitakyushu City. About twenty members of staff will be employed to start operations from October 2008.

Tsutomu Tomita, representative director & president of Nippon Roballo, favorably evaluated Kitakyushu City, saying, "We have selected Kitakyushu, because it's convenient for commodity distribution to and from other Asian nations."

 

2006

Oct. 31
UPS, the world's largest small cargo company
 

UPS Japan, the Japanese branch of UPS, the world’s largest small package cargo transport company, specializes in international express transport. On October 30, 2006, it opened a collection and delivery center in Fukuoka Prefecture, their first base in Kyushu, in response to growth in the northern Kyushu region, especially in the automobile and semiconductor fields.
The UPS Fukuoka distribution center takes advantage of its location as an entryway to East Asia by providing land, sea and air transport, and it plans to offer services for customers to make their supply chains more efficient. Initially aiming at supporting the needs of international businesses in Fukuoka City and the transportation of parts to factories in Asia, etc., we expect that the activities of UPS in the future will contribute greatly to the advancement of international trade and business throughout all of Kyushu.


Sep. 1
HANATOUR, Korea's largest tour and travel agency
 

HANATOUR, Korea’s largest tour and travel company, established its subsidiary HANATOUR JAPAN on September 1, 2006, and opened a branch office in Fukuoka, making this city its second base in Japan after Tokyo.
The sales leader in the Korean travel industry, HANATOUR package tours to Kyushu have grown remarkably, accounting for one fourth of all their visitors to Japan. With tourism from Korea to Fukuoka and other parts of Kyushu increasing annually, HANATOUR JAPAN opened a Kyushu Office to strengthen its business operations in the region.
With this expansion of their business, we expect to build an even closer relationship between Kyushu and Korea and have even more tourist exchange with our close neighbor.



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