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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.

10/16/17
Yahoo! to Open Engineering Hub in Fukuoka
Yahoo! Japan will open an engineering hub in Fukuoka City in November. The new office will be home to between 10 and 20 software engineers in charge of payment processing and financial services. This will be the fifth such hub in Japan and the second in Kyushu after the company's Kitakyushu Center, which is in charge of screening advertisements. With this move, the company aims to expand its footprint in Fukuoka City while reducing the overconcentration of engineers in Tokyo and contributing to the hiring of mid-career professionals.

09/11/17
Fukuoka Growth Next Launches Business Matching Service
Fukuoka Growth Next, a public-private startup support center, has launched Growth Pitch, a service to help newly founded companies find business partners. The first session was held on Aug. 10., and representatives from about 20 companies met with smartphone app developer Good Luck 3 to discuss potential investment and partnerships. Going forward, sessions will be held monthly to encourage growth in both new companies and their potential partners.

09/11/17
Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Establishes Kyushu IoT Community
The Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry established the Kyushu IoT Community, a public-private body aimed at promoting the use of the Internet of Things (IoT). Composed of 170 organizations and 80 individual members, the group will hold tours of cutting-edge companies, open an IoT Lab to offer hands-on experience with IoT devices, provide space for experiments and create frameworks for human resources development and financial support. The aim is to connect IT companies providing IoT services with local governments, companies and other users in order to create new businesses and solve issues faced by society.

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