Strategy 2: Strengthening Osaka's ability to attract people by increasing its urban appeal

Strategy 1: Attracting people, goods, and investments from around the world and creating new value

Creation of an ecosystem that fosters continuous innovations by utilizing Osaka's strengths

Global Innovation Creation Support Program

To develop an ecosystem that inspires innovation, where Osaka can attract human resources, information, and funding from Japan and around the world, we implemented the Global Innovation Creation Support Program at the Osaka Innovation Hub (OIH) External links - a base for intellectual creation located within the Knowledge Capital at the Umekita district.

As part of a mechanism to gather investors and entrepreneurs from home and abroad, the aims of the program are to advance international conferences and human resource exchanges, support project creation, as well as fostering industry-academia collaboration that can encourage university participation. There is also the OIH Seed Acceleration Program (OSAP), which is geared to identify and accelerate the growth of promising new startups. Furthermore, we contribute to other select funds that creates synergies with our initiatives.

An idea-pitching event at the OIH

An idea-pitching event at the OIH

International Innovation Conference Hack Osaka 2018

International Innovation Conference Hack Osaka 2018

Special Zones Promotion

We strive to take advantage of Osaka’s metropolitan potential to bolster its ability to contribute to Japan's redevelopment and growth.

To maintain a competitive edge over other major cities of Asia and the world, we are also fully implementing in our business scene the benefits of the Japanese Government’s special zones systems such as the National Strategic Special Zone and Kansai Innovation International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone.

In 2014, Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, and Kyoto Prefecture were collectively designated as the Kansai Region, a National Strategic Special Zone. We are collaborating with the Japanese Government, other local authorities and private sector to offer regulatory reforms and tax incentives, strengthening the city’s competitiveness to achieve a favorable business environment.

With regards to the Kansai Innovation International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone, initiatives are being carried out in Osaka Station Zone and the Yumeshima/Sakishima Zone to build international bases that will foster innovation in the fields of medicine, the environment, and energy. The Osaka Prefectural and City Governments are jointly implementing tax measures that offers up to full local tax reduction External links.

Introducing Osaka's investment landscape; identifying and approaching promising companies and universities as investment recipients; and helping companies enter new markets

The "Open Innovation City Osaka Program" is established to transmit information about the city's investment landscape; and companies that cooperate with startups are also incentivized with subsidies through the "Subsidy Program for Establishing Innovation Base in Osaka External links."

Through utilizing the international network and collaborating with Osaka Business and Investment Center External links (O-BIC, jointly established by the Osaka Prefectural and City Governments and Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry), we emphasize on distributing a variety of information that relates to Osaka’s investment environment as well as creating opportunities to invite aspiring companies.

After identifying and approaching promising companies and universities as investment recipients, we elaborate on the features of Osaka by holding corporate relocation seminars.

In addition to establishing consultation counters for companies considering to begin a business in Osaka, we also have the Business Support Office (BSO) External links. This facility not only supports companies looking to establish a presence in the city, but it also provides information about available sites and properties.

Osaka Investment Promotion and Support Site (INVEST OSAKA Promotional Support Site) External links

Business consultation at O-BICb

Business consultation at O-BIC

Business Support Office

Business Support Office

Enhancing the city's international network and promoting international business exchange

By fully utilizing the city's international network and applying the diplomatic expertise that Osaka has accumulated up to this point, we aim to present the City of Osaka's top-level promotions through receiving and engaging in constructive discussions with distinguished guests from abroad, as well as fostering exchanges with sister cities and other related affiliations. This as a whole inspires more business exchanges and also strengthens Osaka's international competitiveness.

The City of Osaka's International Network

(1) Sister cities / Friendship cities (total of 7)
São Paulo, Chicago, Shanghai, Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Milano, Hamburg

(2) Friendship cooperation cities (total of 3)
Buenos Aires, Budapest, Busan

(3) Business partner cities (total of 13)
Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Seoul, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Melbourne, Tianjin, Auckland

(4) Sister ports / Friendship ports (total of 7)
Port of San Francisco, Port of Melbourne, Port of Le Havre, Port of Shanghai, Port of Valparaiso, Port of Busan, Port of Saigon

(5) International offices
Shanghai Office

The City of Osaka's International Network

Providing international business opportunities

By utilizing global connections acquired from our business partner cities and the Shanghai Office, we aim to provide overseas information through seminars and collaborate with relevant organizations to organize business meetings with international companies. In addition, we dispatch overseas development supporters experienced in international business to assist with SME activities on the global stage.

Reception of diplomats and guests from abroad

When diplomats and other esteemed guests from abroad visit Osaka, we extend our best form of international courtesy to them. These meetings allow our mayor and other city officials of special positions to make top-level promotions of Osaka as well as exchange opinions on matters relating to government measures. Events such as the Kansai Diplomats Seminar allow us to reaffirm our strong friendships with the consulates-general and other international agencies situated in the Kansai region.

Distinguished Visitors from Abroad & Exchange Events

Program to foster growth and horizontal mobility of innovation personnel

This program facilitates horizontal mobility by matching core personnel from large companies with up-and-coming SMEs and startups, fostering talent growth of those in the forefront of innovation and accelerating growth of SMEs and startups.

Osaka Top-Runners Enhancement Program

This program identifies and certifies projects involving products and services that have the potential to create new demand in fields such as medicine, nursing care, and health care. Coordinators are assigned to certified projects to provide ongoing, custom-tailored support in response to issues encountered at each stage of the project. We also host various events such as workshops and exchange sessions to promote the creation of new businesses by SMEs.

IoT and Robotics Business Creation Program

Participants can learn more about IoT businesses through our 4-month program, which covers topics ranging from basic technological knowledge to business model development.

Fourth Industrial Revolution Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Support Program

IoT and robotics businesses can conduct trials and give demonstrations at a large multi-purpose complex known as the ATC External links, and at sports facilities used by professional teams in Maishima. We also coordinate these projects to help ensure their effectiveness by establishing consultation counters, offering professional advice, assisting with formulation of action plans, and coordinating with facility managers.

Support for creating and fostering creative industries

In order to help companies develop higher-added-value products and services, it is crucial to strengthen the competitiveness of creative industries such as design, advertising, and video and to foster collaboration between creative industries and other sectors. To that end, aside from implementing a variety of programs, the “Osaka Mebic Ogimachi Creative Network Center” was also established to help build a community of creators and companies.

Specifically, these programs include forming creator networks, matching creators with manufacturing companies, and attracting creators through forum events. We strive to equip creators with production skills needed to initiate new businesses and to boost the sophistication and added value of existing businesses.

Event for Creative Business Matchmaking at Mebic Ogimachi (Presentation on recruiting creators)

Event for Creative Business Matchmaking at Mebic Ogimachi (Presentation on recruiting creators)

A “creative salon” at Mebic Ogimachi

A "creative salon" at Mebic Ogimachi

Utilizing the expertise of Osaka City University and leveraging its think-tank function

Osaka City University External links covers a vast range of disciplines with its 8 undergraduate faculties and 11 graduate schools. As an internationally-oriented and exceptional venue for diverse research, it offers an advanced and interactive education system that advocates smaller class settings.

The University is carrying out efforts to utilize its expertise and think-tank function so that it can serve as a new type of public university that will contribute to the development of Osaka.

For instance, the OCU Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis was established to enhance industry-academia collaboration for implementation of next-generation renewable energies. In addition, the Center for Health Science Innovation was established at Grand Front Osaka in the Umekita district. This center aims to return to society the benefits of health science research jointly conducted among industry, academia, and government.

Furthermore, to promote advanced preventive care, the "MedCity 21, Osaka City University Hospital Division of Premier Preventive Medicine" was established at the Abeno Harukas.

To provide an organizational basis for matching educational and research activities as well as meeting regional needs, centers for regional collaboration were opened. The Osaka City University is devoted to further strengthening the advancement of these community service initiatives.

Osaka City University (Building No.1)

Osaka City University

Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP)

Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP)

Revitalizing SMEs and fostering the development of leaders who will achieve economic growth

Management skill support at the Business Innovation Center Osaka (Osaka Sangyo Sozokan)

The Business Innovation Center Osaka is a base that is geared toward providing comprehensive support to SMEs. To offer a variety of business opportunities to SMEs and startups that aspire to create new businesses, we conduct programs that actively incorporate talented personnel from the private sector to help resolve management issues as well as foster management reforms.

Consulting program

This program utilizes SME management consultants who provide consultation via the Internet, telephone and in person on specialized fields such as marketing, accounting and taxation, human resources and labor, intellectual property and law. They also provide on-site consultations for companies who are dealing with matters relating to management issues, management reforms, and management succession.

New business creation and management reform support programs

(1) The Business Innovation Center Osaka collaborates with financial institutions in organizing business matching programs such as business meetings, where SMEs and startups can freely develop sales channels and create business partnerships.

(2) To tackle the challenges of new businesses, management issues, and management succession; we offer various seminars and workshops to assist managers of SMEs and startups with building skills, implementing management reforms, and handling management handovers.

(3) In collaboration with local universities and research institutions, technical presentations and matching events are held in aim of creating new businesses as well as fostering a new generation of companies.

Business Innovation Center Osaka(Osaka Sangyo Sozokan)

Business Innovation Center Osaka
(Osaka Sangyo Sozokan)



Funding support for SMEs

We help SMEs build their credit rating by securing financial guarantees from the "Credit Guarantee Corporation of Osaka," which was established under the Credit Guarantee Association Act, an act designated to help facilitate funding for SMEs. The City of Osaka also facilitates appropriate funding conditions by depositing funds to financial institutions.

In conjunction with the Business Innovation Center Osaka, the "Business Initiation Support Fund" for business pioneers and the "Special Management Support Loan" for small enterprise owners were implemented by the City of Osaka during FY 2018.

Technical support from the Osaka Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology

The Osaka Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology helps SMEs solve technological issues by offering services such as technical consultations, experimental analysis, and commissioned research.

Coordinators assigned to the Institute take the lead in organizing and implementing joint research and development projects. They also provide support for implementation so that SMEs can effectively develop new technologies and products through effective collaboration among industry, academia, and government.

The Institute operates two facilities, the Morinomiya Center and the Izumi Center. The former is home to the Battery Development and Assessment Center, which manufactures and evaluates storage battery devices in an effort to facilitate the entry of SMEs into growth industries such as batteries and to expand their associated businesses.

The Next-Generation Optical Device Assessment and Support Center, which is located at the Morinomiya Center, tests and evaluates a comprehensive range of optical characteristics, while an anechoic chamber at the Izumi Center is used to conduct experiments to evaluate the characteristics of electromagnetic waves.

Osaka Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (Morinomiya Center)

Osaka Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (Morinomiya Center)

Battery Development and Assessment Center

Battery Development and Assessment Center

Support accommodated to regional conditions and characteristics for shopping streets and manufacturing companies

We offer support for programs designed to help shopping streets and other facilities ensure the safety and comfort of visitors while enhancing their ability to attract visitors.

To enhance the shopping street associations' ability to attract visitors, we hold seminars to promote previous programs that have successfully revitalized the shopping streets, and act as a source of information that is circulated through social media platforms. In addition, we are also committed to carrying out practical initiatives and advanced projects that stimulates inbound travel.

Furthermore, we help secure future recruitment for the manufacturing industry by bridging relations between companies and many skilled students studying at industrial high schools.

Tenjinbashisuji 5-chome Shopping Street

Tenjinbashisuji 5-chome Shopping Street

Exchange meeting for industrial high schools and manufacturing companies

Exchange meeting for industrial high schools and manufacturing companies

Osaka Techno Master Program

Qualified technicians or individuals with an advanced skillset for the manufacturing industry can be certified and recognized as "Osaka Techno Masters." As Osaka Techno Masters, not only can technicians be recognized for their proficiency, but they can also organize observation tours of manufacturing plants and give lectures of their respective occupations. These efforts can expand the horizons of the next generation of leaders for the manufacturing industry.

Coordinating preparations to host the World Expo 2025

In November 2018, Osaka-Kansai was selected as the host site; and steadfast efforts are now underway in implementing necessary preparations toward the World Expo 2025. A prestigious event of this magnitude would help bolster inbound tourism, create new industries for healthcare, and encourage investments in the Bay Area’s urban development project. Moreover, the World Expo will not only contribute to stimulating the economic growth of Osaka and the Kansai region, but it will also bestow a remarkable opportunity for us to zealously display all the charming aspects of our city to the entire world.

Overview of the World Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai

Theme: Designing Future Society for Our Lives
Sub-themes: How to Lead a Healthy Life in a Diverse Manner, Sustainable Socioeconomic Systems
Host Venue: Yumeshima (Konohana-ku, Osaka) *Area about 155 hectares
Event Duration: May 3 to November 3, 2025 (6 months)
Anticipated number of attendees: About 28 million
Projected Event Costs:

Site and venue construction About ¥125 billion
Event operations About ¥82 billion
Related event costs About ¥73 billion

Projected Economic Benefits (Projected value): About ¥2 trillion
*The projected event costs and economic benefits have been calculated at the rate of USD = JPY 110 based on the Bid Dossier (candidate application and related documents).

Projected image of Expo site (Reference from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Projected image of Expo site (Reference from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Projected image of Expo venue (Reference from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)g

Projected image of Expo venue (Reference from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Attracting strategic MICE events and practicing tourism-focused urban development

Attracting strategic MICE events

In aim of expanding tourism consumption and creating opportunities for business and innovation, the City of Osaka collaborates with the Osaka Prefecture, business community, Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, and MICE-related facilities to attract strategic MICE events External links.

Project to support and attract new exhibitions

To organize more business meetings and matching opportunities for SMEs that are resolute in expanding their businesses, we offer subsidies that help attract new exhibitions to the city area. This can help promote growth in the regional economy through the development of domestic and international sales channels.


The International Exhibition Center, Osaka, (INTEX Osaka) External links is a multi-purpose facility that serves as a base for fostering international business exchange. Currently, promotional efforts are directed towards the hosting of large-scale international trade fairs and other major events. At the INTEX Osaka, we are creating opportunities to attract many attendees, as well as conduct efficient and successful business matches.

Organizational Support Program for 2019 G20 Osaka Summit

In 2019, Osaka will host the first G20 summit to take place in Japan. Top leaders from all over the world will assemble at this summit. On this honorable occasion, we will promote the life sciences and manufacturing fields, as well as exhibit genuine World heritage sites and cultural properties which all represent the attractive traits of Osaka. With these programs, it is our goal to appeal the international recognition of our city and region.

Overview of the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit

Dates: June 28 and 29, 2019
Venue: International Exhibition Center, Osaka, (INTEX Osaka)
Participating countries and regions: G7 (France, U.S.A., UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, and the European Union), Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey as well as other invited countries and organizations (6 to 8 countries and 7 or 8 organizations); total of about 35 countries and organizations

Website of the Kansai Promotion Council for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit External links

G20 image

G20 image



Promoting tourism around the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau

The Osaka Promotion Strategy 2020 depicts the collective vision of the Osaka Prefectural and City Governments, where there are fixed objectives set for the year of 2020, such as attracting 13 million visitors from overseas and generating about 1.19 trillion yen in tourism spending by international travelers. The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau External links holds a primary role in carrying out substantial measures to achieve the objectives as outlined in this strategy.

Promoting Wi-Fi, renewing tourism-related information and signage

The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau External links is promoting the installation of Osaka Free Wi-Fi access points throughout various locations such as major sightseeing destinations and transportation terminals. For instance, when updating signage that are situated at popular tourist attractions, the organization is earnestly working toward providing the most convenient and easily accessible information in nearby areas.

Strengthening tourism marketing and research (promoting an Osaka DMO)

The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau External links will be the main organization that leads in promoting strategic marketing initiatives that includes the collection and analysis of information describing tourist trends and needs. Moreover, by fostering specialized personnel, this can contribute to bolstering the capabilities of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau’s to function as a Osaka DMO*.

Strengthening the efficiency of promotional means

In collaboration with the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau External links, we are developing strategic promotions to support domestic and international travelers. To reinforce information circulation methods, we are utilizing a range of promotional tools such as creating multilingual, electronic guidebooks and enhancing website services.

*DMO: Stands for "Destination Marketing/Management Organization," meaning an organization that serves to develop tourism attractions from a destination management perspective. In addition to formulating and implementing tourism strategies based on marketing, DMOs fulfill a coordinative role in which they facilitate consensus-building among a broad range of concerned parties within the region.

OSAKA-INFO: Information about Osaka tourism, events, etc External links.