UK Science & Innovation Japan Newsletter October 2015

Policymaking, Cybersecurity and Energy Storage to Remain Big Themes in Japan. October’s newsletter features updates on recent developments in Japanese policymaking, a new cybersecurity strategy, and a feature on energy storage in Japan.

1. Cyber security is set to become a major priority with new strategy and R&D funding developments

In September 2015, the Cabinet approved the new cybersecurity Strategy (available both in Japanese and in English).

The government now sees cybersecurity as a top security priority, and has been implementing a series of changes in its policy and administrative structure to increase preparedness for cyber threats, particularly around the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

SIN Japan is now considering options for promoting future strategic collaboration on cybersecurity R&D between Japan and the UK. Please do contact us if you are interested in being part of this.

Download our Cyber Security Report and sign in to watch our webinar video on Cyber Security Opportunities in Japan to learn about opportunities for you to do business in Japan.

2. Japan is increasing efforts to develop energy storage technologies

After the nuclear shutdown in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, nuclear restarts and energy market reform are now underway.

The latter includes reshaping Japan’s energy grid to better integrate renewables. Japan sees energy storage as a key force for integrating renewable energy sources, as well as a source of future economic growth.

Japan has already invested significantly in hydroelectric power, but another area Japan is investing in is hydrogen power, where the government aims to create a “hydrogen economy” by 2030.

Governor Yoichi Masuzoe recently broached this topic when he addressed members of the British and American Chambers of Commerce.

Hybrid vehicle pioneer Toyota plans to build 2,000 Mirai fuel cell vehicles in 2016, while competing auto manufacturers are planning their own vehicles, including Honda and Nissan.

The Government is also investing in infrastructure with 100 hydrogen fuelling stations due across the country in 2016. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics game is seen as a significant opportunity to showcase hydrogen technology to a global audience, with plans to use hydrogen vehicles for transportation between sites and to supply power to the Olympic village.

For the latest information and opportunities related to Tokyo 2020, please visit our sector specific page.

Download our reports on business opportunities for companies in Japan, and watch our webinar videos to find out more.

3. Opportunities for the UK

There are significant opportunities for UK academia, business and government-to-government collaboration in Japan’s storage technology drive.

UK business and academia could share expertise in areas such as standardization and deregulation, energy systems management, and storage integration. Regulations are also being relaxed for expanding markets for energy storage, with Japan due to open electricity competition for all customer classes by 2016.

This may provide opportunities for UK companies with experience of deregulation, smart grid and demand management in the UK, or have honed their business models and developed relevant technologies and expertise.

4. METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) will be setting up consulting offices to provide support for and increase the practical use of robots in a broad range of areas such as nursing care and agriculture.

The government has set a goal of expanding the robot market by 20-fold, to 1.2 trillion Japanese yen in 2020, which will open up the Japanese market to companies wishing to do business in Japan.

Our articles British Robots Turn Heads in Japan and The Future of UK Robotics is Now detail some of the opportunities for UK companies in Japan, and also look at how British companies can successfully do business in Japan.

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If you have questions, e-mail: daniel.bjornstrom@fco.gov.uk