Commerce and industry person in charge, Life and Industry Section, Culture, Commerce and Industry Division, Toshima City
Toshima City having Ikebukuro, a large downtown in Tokyo sub-center. In addition, there are some 90 shopping streets of various sizes. The major industry of the City is commerce. On the other hand, the City positions manufacturing as an important industry, and is working actively on advanced initiatives. We interviewed Yasuhito Arai of Commerce and industry person in charge, Life and Industry Section, Culture, Commerce and Industry Division, Toshima City
While the commerce has developed largely in Toshima City, the manufacturing industry has declined. The number of offices has decreased by half more in 10 years; from 538 in fiscal 2000 to 219 in fiscal 2010. The City has started two large programs, which are our prime industrial development initiatives.
One is the Industry Trade Show "TOSHIIMA MONOZUKURI MESSE" We had the 8th show in fiscal 2014. The numbers of exhibitors and visitors were 101 organizations and 19,550 people in fiscal 2012, which significantly increased to 105 organizations and 19,275 people in fiscal 2013. At the Messe each company mainly exhibits and promotes its products and technologies. Not only matching between visitors and exhibitors, but also matching among exhibitors are promoted. Also by inviting companies which can be buyers, the Messe trys to offer business talk opportunities.
A feature of the Messe is: we widely publicize it also to general visitors and take in a function of B2C. Tasting, for example, is very popular, as it can be a direct monitoring to get end-users’ opinions. The Messe has been used as social studies field tours of elementary schools. It has been appreciated as one of career educations for kids to learn about Monozukuri (manufacturing) companies from early childhood.
Another feature is the "Toshima Support Center for Business " The Center is a platform to support local SMEs where the City, as a contact, collaborates with local financial institutions and industry associations. Its comprehensive support menu includes financing, start-up of business, marketing, labor services and tax services, and you can enjoy one-stop support by professionals like staff of local credit unions, ex-staff of credit guarantee association, social insurance labor consultants and tax accountants.
"To expand sales," for example, the Center offers a support in which a company and professionals analyze strengths of products/services, take professional opinions of designers, for example, and consider optimal sales expansion initiatives. We are confident that such efforts to support sales expansion as a municipality should be an advanced case even in Japan. Consultation is free.
In addition, the City strives to create opportunities for business matching through the Center and/or holding business meetings. Toshima City will enhance a suite of initiatives furthermore and continue working on industrial development.
Address: Higashi-Ikebukuro Toshima 1-20-15 (Life and Industry Section)