There may be an increase in cases where foreign companies acquire Japanese SMEs. Japan is facing the issue of business succession of SMEs. Many SMEs have problems of aging managers and undecided successor. The government believes that there is a potential that approximately 6.5 million jobs and GDP of JPY 22 trillion (USD 200 billion) will be lost by 2025, if left unaddressed, according to the document published in January 2018. Therefore, in order to prevent closing down of good-standing SMEs, the government is considering introducing them to foreign companies via JETRO.
JETRO told us that it has been discussing it in the following directions:
- JETRO will be granted permission to access a database of companies registered in “Business Transfer Support Center” which is operated by the government, but limited access, i.e. only allowed to access summary information without the name of the companies.
- When JETRO receives a request from foreign companies for acquisition of Japanese companies, it will check the database to identify potential companies and help matching between them, working with the center.
According to “JETRO Invest Japan Report” published on November 29 2018, “around 70% of the foreign-affiliated companies showed interest in open innovation with Japanese companies and universities”, and “they are interested the most in Japan’s SMEs as partners”. Other Intermediate companies seem unlikely to be permitted to directly access the database mentioned above, but if you need any assistance for approaching Japanese companies, please feel free to contact us.