Counting down transforming Fukuoka into Global Financial City.

March 26, 2022

“Revolution starting with the rise of the hinterland”
(IISIA Research Report Vol.1)

Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka have been working on Global Financial City. Compared to Tokyo and Osaka, Fukuoka is exclusive in terms of the closest place towards Asia, such as China and Southeast Asia, which is expected to play an important role as “financial hub” in Asia. However, despites the future potentiality of Fukuoka city, there is seemingly much more to proceed in order to realize Global Financial City, likewise Tokyo and Osaka have struggled so far. The future possibility of Fukuoka city will be critically assessed below.

Figure: Details of the Tenjin Big Bang Project
(Source: Fukuoka City

Firstly, the movement of startup companies has gradually been active in Fukuoka, in spite of some critics as a possibility of financial city. Particularly, a lot of attention have been paid to Tenjin and Daimyo, where taking advantage of relaxed regulations on the height of buildings in the Tenjin area under the Strategic Special Zone initiative. That is called “the Tenjin Big Bang Project”.

Addition to this project, “Fukuoka Growth Nest” was launched at the place of Daimyo elementary school and gives many types of office for startup companies as well. 

Figure: FUKUOKA growth next
(Source: PARTNER

Due to this constructed environment, some startup companies have actually signified various strategies, such as dividing locations between Tokyo and Fukuoka, rather than one location. Fukuoka is literally playing an important role as “gateway”.

Secondly, “hinterland” is important to assess the possibility of Global Financial City, which would be Kitakyushu City in Kyusyu area. Although Kitakyushu City used to create prosperity as Industrial area, Kitakyushu City declined, due to the impact of COVID-19 and China’s mass production.

However, the above circumstance has recently changed. Decarbonization has affected China’s production of coal, which leads to the cuts of production. This applies to South Korea as well. Additionally, political environment has changed. A new governor of Fukuoka Prefecture was elected on 2nd of November in 2021 and the relation with Kitakyushu City has been improved and function as political driving force. They held the meetings to talk about variety of fields, such Kitakyushu Airport and offshore Wind Power Industry.

To summarize, “hinterland” as industrial area and logistics base will be crucial as mentioned above and Kitakyushu City is a key factor for Fukuoka. Also, political environment has simultaneously been changed in order to realize Global Financial City. Although there are still external influences in international arena, much attention has to be paid to the recent movement and after.

Analyst, Global Intelligence Group (GIG)