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05/26/16
Shiida-Minami ~ Buzen Section of Higashi-Kyushu Expressway Opens
On Apr. 24, the 7.2 km Shiida-Minami ~ Buzen stretch of the Higashi-Kyushu Expressway interchanges—the only unfinished section of the expressway in the prefecture—opened, thus enabling uninterrupted travel all the way from Kitakyushu City to Miyazaki City. The opening of this final section has created a circulating network of north-south and east-west expressways in Kyushu and is expected to facilitate the exchange of people and things throughout Kyushu. Now that there is direct highway access to Kitakyushu Airport and the ports of Kitakyushu and Kanda, Fukuoka Prefecture will strive to market local agricultural products and promote the creation of cutting-edge industrial clusters for the automobile and aerospace sectors.

05/26/16
Fukuoka Prefecture Establishes Manufacturing Improvement Support Center
On Apr. 6, Fukuoka Prefecture opened the Manufacturing Improvement Support Center inside the Yoshizuka Government Building next to the Prefectural Office. The new center will help small and medium-sized manufacturing companies on the cutting edge of their respective fields expand their operations and secure talent. In line with this, the Prefecture has doubled the number of advisors from two to four. These advisors, all of whom have work experience with major manufacturers, will visit small and medium-sized manufacturers to advise them on operational streamlining and opportunities to obtain public funding. With the new center, eligibility for support has been expanded to include the sectors of renewable energy, medical devices, aircraft, food production and organic electroluminescence. The Prefecture aims to create 1,000 jobs over the next three years.

05/26/16
Startup Personnel Matching Center Opens in Fukuoka
As part of its National Strategic Special Zone efforts, Fukuoka City opened a Startup Personnel Matching Center to help newly established companies attract and retain talent. The Center, which is located inside the Startup Cafe in Imaizumi, helps match new companies (formed within the last five years) with the people who have the skills and experience these companies need. It also advises people looking to work for young companies. This is the first such initiative in the country. In May 2014, Fukuoka City was designated as a National Strategic Special Zone, and it opened the Startup Cafe in October of the same year. The Cafe has helped 53 companies get off the ground between Oct. 2014 and Feb. 2016.

04/18/16
Nissan Motor Loans Electric Vehicle to Prefecture Free of Charge
Nissan Motor has loaned an electric vehicle to Fukuoka Prefecture free of charge for three years. The vehicle, a five-passenger van, has a maximum capacity of 1500 W and can travel up to 190 km on one charge. Coinciding with the loan, the Prefectural Office has installed a quick charging facility for electric vehicles that anyone is free to use. A 30-minute charge costs about 450. This is just one way the Prefecture is promoting the widespread adoption of next-generation vehicles along with the installation of required infrastructure.

04/18/16
Prefecture, Fukuoka and Kitakyushu Cities Boost Subsidies to Attract Businesses
Fukuoka Prefecture has established a new corporate relocation subsidy to attract companies aiming to relocate or expand their head office functions in the prefecture. The subsidy will cover 2% of capital investment for relocations or expansions, half of the annual cost of building and equipment leases, and 300,000 per person hired. Starting in fiscal 2016, Fukuoka City will increase its relocation subsidies for certain cases. Companies that relocate their headquarters to the city will now be able to receive rent subsidies of up to 100 million over two years and wage subsidies of up to 100 million over three years. Meanwhile, companies that relocate to Kitakyushu can receive subsidies equivalent to up to 33% of capital investment, up to a maximum of 500 million, depending on the number of jobs they create, as well as 500,000 per new full-time employee hired.

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