Where can I find information about public procurement calls for tender?
The Japanese government publishes calls for tender in English at a limited number of sites.
JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) (Click title for direct link)
JETRO publishes calls for tender issued by national government organisations (national government), prefectures and 20 designated cities (local government) on its website at
http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/database/procurement/ The calls you will find here are limited to tenders that fall under rules of the WTO Agreement on Public Procurement. The information provided is limited to English-language summaries.
METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) (Click title for direct link)
Although JETRO is part of the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, the Ministry also provides a separate page with tender information at the local level. The information is gathered using Webcrawler technology and computer translations, and therefore does not provide standardized information. The page is operated by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.
Choutatsujoho (Procurement Information) website (Click title for direct link)
The Choutatsujoho website is a simpler and limited version of the tender information offered by JETRO. The site is managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and only lists tenders under the rules of the WTO Agreement on Public Procurement issued by national government entitities.
For more detailled information about these and other tender information websites in Japanese, please refer to the JTTP pages on Tender monitoring & Information.
Can I as a European SME take part in government tenders in Japan?
Yes, you will however need to obtain qualifications as a supplier before you can take part in tender procedures. Anybody can apply for qualification as a supplier. You will however need to produce a number of documents showing your capabilities as a supplier. These documents include financial statements, company-registration in your country, and proof of payment of taxes in your country of residence.
What is the minimum size of a tender conducted under WTO?
As a signee to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) Japanese government organisations must adhere to established international rules, if it concerns large tenders above a certain threshold. Thresholds are usually calculated in SDRs or Special Drawing Rights. The yen-equivalents of these amounts are adjusted regularly.
The height of the thresholds depends on the type of service or goods purchased and the kind of organisation that is purchasing. Thresholds for tenders issues by the central government are the lowest, while regional and local governments employ high thresholds. For instance, if you are planning to bid on a WTO-tender concerning the purchase of a good or service (not construction related), the threshold is currently 100,000 SDRs which is equivalent to 15 million JPY. (About 120,000 Euro)
Information about the current thresholds is available here.