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Top Interview with municipality’s person Mitaka ICT Businesses Association (Mitaka City)

Mitaka ICT Businesses Association (Mitaka City)

Created on 2016-3-3
Updated on 2016-3-3
Mitaka ICT Businesses Association (Mitaka City)

Penetration of the Internet has been accelerating the growth of Japan’s ICT (information communication technology) industries. In recent years, emerging independent venture companies have been working actively in the scene where mostly large-sized business players used to have major presence. Mitaka City has always been attracting spotlight as a leading information technology city since 1984 when it started the first experiment of INS (Information Network System). The Mitaka ICT Businesses Association was established in 2005 by cooperation of 30 independent ICT companies operating in the City. We interviewed Chairman Tsugitoshi Hatano, one of founders, about aims of the foundation and their activities.

The “SOHO CITY Mitaka Initiative” looks for governments to help small IT businesses

Mitaka City had become highly aware of utilizing information after the INS experiment such that in 2005 it won "The Intelligent Community of the Year", an award given to the world #1 IT city. In 1998, the City launched the “SOHO CITY Mitaka Initiative”, the first of this kind driven by government to support new business form "SOHO (Small Office / Home Office)" which takes advantage of the Internet. At that time, SOHO entrepreneurs were increasing due not only to developments of the Internet but also to lightened initial investments thanks to smaller-sized personal computers and emerging open source software. Such background also helped incubate many IT companies with 3-4 employees in the City.

"Selection and concentration" with horizontal connections among businesses

We therefore became keenly aware of the need of "selection and concentration". We thought it imperative for companies to concentrate on their specialties and otherwise cooperate one another taking advantage of horizontal business connections. In the case of building websites, for instance, some companies co-work in their own specialty areas such as screen designing, design programming and operation techniques.
Firstly, volunteer companies gathered to set up the Association. They formed the "Mitaka Software Business Study Group" in 2004 and began to seek cooperation among IT businesses in the City and peripheral regions. They also found through a field survey of City’s IT businesses that there were more than 30 companies and most of them had been feeling it necessary to co-work with peer companies. This study led to an IT businesses meeting in 2005 and foundation of the solidarity body was determined.

“Warm eye” kept by government

Current relationships are exceptionally favorable between governments including Mitaka City and the Mitaka ICT Businesses Association now joined by 40 companies. Mitaka City frequently asks for business opportunities through the third sector "Urban Renewal Mitaka Corporation". This means the City sees the value of our association with “warm eye” on it. The Corporation also kindly undertakes Association’s administration works at low costs, while Mitaka City Society of Commerce and Industry offering supports in various aspects such as subsidizing our seminars, symposiums and exhibitions.

Address: Urban Renewal Mitaka Corporation, Mitaka Industry Plaza, 3-38-4, Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo
Phone: +81-422-40-9669