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05/02/17
Fukuoka Growth Next Startup Platform Opens
On Apr. 12, Fukuoka Growth Next, a public-private startup support center run by Fukuoka City and Fukuoka Jisho, opened on the site of the old Daimyo Elementary School. The old school building was renovated into a series of small offices and event spaces. There, expert staff offer training sessions, staffing referrals, management consultations and other kinds of support to help companies grow. The facility will start by assisting around 100 companies and sole proprietors, making it one of the largest startup incubators in Japan.

05/02/17
Fukuoka Prefecture to Secure 10% Stake in New Airport Operating Company
Governor Ogawa has expressed his intention for the Prefecture to secure a 10% stake, the limit that a local government can acquire, in the new privatized operating company for Fukuoka Airport. Shareholders of joint stock companies can gain different kinds of rights depending on their level of investment. With a 10% share, a shareholder can reintroduce proposals that have been rejected at the shareholders meeting without any restrictions, thereby becoming more involved in the management of the company. Governor Ogawa hopes this move will allow the Prefecture to incorporate the voices of the local community into the operation of the airport.

05/02/17
Tenth Hydrogen Station in Fukuoka Prefecture Completed
Air Liquide Japan recently completed the construction of the 10th hydrogen station in the prefecture, this one located on the premises of Toyota Motor Kyushu's Miyata plant. This is the first station that the company has opened on its own in Fukuoka Prefecture. Located right next to the Miyata Smart Interchange on the Kyushu Expressway, halfway between Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, it is expected to be a convenient stop for fuel cell vehicle (FCV) users. The station can fill an FCV in under three minutes. Construction was subsidized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Prefectural Government. Air Liquide Japan will also receive a tax break as a designated Green Asia International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone company.

04/06/17
State of Hawaii
Governor Ogawa visited Hawaii from Jan. 17 to 24 to attend several events coinciding with the 35th anniversary of ties between Fukuoka Prefecture and the State of Hawaii. At the ceremony to commemorate the anniversary, Governor Ogawa signed the Declaration of Affirmation of the Fukuoka Prefecture—State of Hawaii Sister-State Relationship and expressed his intention to continue strengthening friendly ties between Fukuoka and Hawaii.

04/06/17
Foreign Visitors Entering Kyushu Hits Record High for Fifth Straight Year
According to the Kyushu Transportation Bureau, the number of foreign visitors who entered Japan via the seven prefectures of Kyushu in 2016 increased 31.4% year-on-year to 3,721,122, marking a record high for the fifth year in a row. For the first time, Chinese visitors, including those arriving on cruise ships, topped the list of visitor numbers by country and region. Meanwhile, the Japan Tourism Agency announced the number of foreign visitors staying in hotels and inns for 2016. At 18.05 million, the largest number of hotel guests was in Tokyo, and Fukuoka ranked seventh at 2.67 million guests. The Kyushu Transportation Bureau expects the number of foreign visitors will continue to rise and indicated it will take steps to address traffic congestion caused by buses filled with cruise ship passengers and other related issues.

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