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11/02/17
Kenya Selects Kurume as Location for Olympic Training Camp
On Aug. 23, the Republic of Kenya, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Kurume City held a ceremony to sign an agreement under which Kenya's national track and field team will train in Kurume ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. This makes Kurume the fourth municipality in Fukuoka Prefecture to host an Olympic training camp after Fukuoka City (Sweden and Norway), Yukuhashi City (Mexico), and Kitakyushu City (Thailand). According to Kurume City Hall, Kenya chose the location for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the large number of medical facilities in the city.

11/02/17
Dogan Establishes New Fund for SMEs
On Oct. 1, the Fukuoka City-based investment fund firm Dogan established a new fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the Kyushu, Shikoku, and Chugoku regions looking to make a turnaround. Dubbed the Kyushu-Setouchi Potential Value Fund, the fund will focus on assisting small companies struggling to find successors. In addition to investing in growth strategies, the money can be used to pay off existing liabilities, thereby facilitating smooth management transitions through win-win partnerships between investors and the SMEs. Local banks and companies will invest in the fund in such a way that keeps capital flowing within the region. Dogan will begin lining up investors next September and aims to create a fund that will top out around 5 billion.

11/02/17
Cathay Dragon to Add More Fukuoka-Hong Kong Flights in December
Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific, will add one more weekly round-trip Fukuoka-Hong Kong flight starting on Dec. 18, bringing the number of weekly flights up to eight, and it will bump that number up to 11 starting on Jan. 14, 2018. The decision was reached in light of scheduled improvements to the aircraft rotation and robust demand for the route.

10/16/17
Number of Foreign Visitors Entering Kyushu Reaches Record High Again
According to the Kyushu Transportation Bureau, the number of foreign visitors who entered Kyushu in the first half of this year reached 2,314,937, a 38.8% increase year-on-year and the highest number on record for the first half of a calendar year. The uptick comes on the back of an increase in the number of flights operated by low-cost carriers and a significant rise in the number of visitors arriving by cruise ship. By region, Koreans accounted for the most foreign tourists at 1.07 million (+72.4%), followed by 170,000 Taiwanese (+12.4%) and 110,000 Chinese (+8%). Last year, the total number of foreign visitors was a record high at 3.72 million, but if this year's pace continues, the number for 2017 could reach 5 million.

10/16/17
JETRO Begins Offering Support for Legal Affairs
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has begun offering legal affairs support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to expand overseas in the emerging sectors of fintech and the Internet of Things (IoT). A support team of lawyers and other experts offer assistance such as researching regulations and checking compliance with the laws of the country or region into which an SME is looking to expand. By paying just 100,000 up front to cover research fees, an SME can receive up to 600 minutes of legal consultations and support worth up to 1,010,000.

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