Sön 14 aug / År 40 / Nr 3 2022

Japan – The world’s second largest life science market

Medicon Valley’s Ambassador based in Tokyo, Peter Takizawa, was raised in the Stockholm area and studied at Lund University and speaks the Scandinavian languages. Peter is half Japanese – half Swedish and grew up in Södertälje outside of Stockholm with a Japanese mother and Swedish father. In his professional life Peter has been working in the field of life science, both in Medicon Valley and for more than 10 years in Japan. He is fluent in the Japanese language and knows his way around in the Japanese culture.

Where do you see opportunities for organisations and firms from Medicon Valley in your market?
Japan is the 2nd largest life science market in the world with a strong tradition in academic research and innovations. Furthermore, the healthcare system is very stable, mature and reliable with over 1,000 larger hospitals, 300,000 medical doctors and close to a hundred medical schools.
Japan is and remains the most active area in the region in life sciences with too much going on for Medicon Valley based entities with global aspirations to ignore. It cannot be denied that Japan is facing big challenges associated with the extensive rebuilding post the 2011 earthquake as well as the growing elderly population.
However, for Medicon Valley based organisations, these challenges mean opportunities as Japan is open to new cost efficient solutions and technologies from the outside that can address these changes.
How well known is Medicon Valley in your market?
I am happy to say that the Medicon Valley brand is quite well known in Japan. The AP has been active in Japan since 2008 and Medicon Valley is recognised as an exciting area of Europe in the field of life science. Recent evidence to this we saw in September 2013 as the Japanese Minister of Economic Revitalisation, Mr. Akira Amari, came to visit Medicon Valley and met with Medicon Valley Alliance to learn from our experience and how we have been successful in creating a dynamic life science cluster.
What will be your main focus for 2014?
I will continue to make sure that the Medicon Valley brand is recognised in Japan through my meetings with the actors in the life science field during the year. I also hope to be able to contribute to the success in Japan through executing a number of projects for Medicon Valley based life science companies and organizations. In addition I am also planning two delegation trips to Japan.
One is in conjunction with the BioJapan 2014 congress in October, primarily targeting companies interested in partnering opportunities in Japan, and another one in Q3 2014 aimed at learning more about how Japan is preparing for the so called “Silver Tsunami” of the growing elderly population with the theme of “Independent living and healthy aging in Japan”. We hope to have a good mix of participants on this trip including industry, public as well as academic organizations.