Latest update: July 2022 

From the early 2000s to 2020, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) actively promoted the “Knowledge Cluster Initiative” and the “Industrial Cluster Project” as a means to reinforce international competitiveness and regional development and accelerate the formation of clusters. Regional cluster plans were put in place in order to encourage regional innovation and job creation.

The Japanese definition of cluster is quite blurred when compared to the EU one and especially clear examples such as the French “poles de compétitivités” where an independent organisation is supporting and managing cooperation between local companies, universities and R&D centres in their internationalisation activities.


Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Background to cluster policies
    • METI’s "Industrial Cluster Project" (2001- 2020)
    • MEXT’s "Knowledge Cluster Initiative"  (2002-2011)
    • Other Governmental financial supports and programmes
  • Mapping attempts
  • Cooperation with the EU and opportunities
  • Expert reports
  • Further Reading
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