Japan sets up 'special zones' to create international financial centers

Japan's government has designated four areas as so-called "special zones for financial and asset management businesses."

The locations are Tokyo, both the prefecture and city of Osaka, the prefecture and city of Fukuoka, Hokkaido Prefecture and its capital city, Sapporo.

The special zones are designed to promote Japan as a leading asset management center.

The government says creating an improved business environment will appeal to overseas financial institutions and asset management firms.

Deregulation will also be promoted, including new procedures to make it easier to set up a company entirely in English.

And a new visa for people who support local startups is also among the ideas being considered.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said, "I'd like municipalities newly designated as special zones to refine their plans and make continued efforts to propose regulatory reform and make use of systems by taking advantage of their strengths."

The government hopes to accelerate efforts to create international financial centers and drive more investment in Japan.