TOKYO -- Information technology companies are increasingly opening locations in Japan's regional cities to take advantage of cheaper rents and greater ease in hiring personnel.
In Fukuoka, major companies are one after another relocating operations to large offices. Line Corp.'s subsidiary Line Fukuoka in May brought development sites together within one building in front of Hakata Station. The company noted that the city in southern Japan offers convenient access to shinkansen bullet trains and the airport, has numerous students and boasts close ties to the IT industry.
Fujitsu subsidiary Fujitsu Communication Services in June will open a satellite office in Buzen, Fukuoka Prefecture.
In other regions, improvements in such infrastructure as high-speed internet networks are luring IT companies. For example, IBM Japan affiliate ISOL Delivery Center - Sapporo is opening a new location in the northern city of Sapporo to cultivate demand related to finance-related IT, or fintech.
According to Sanko Estate, Sapporo's vacancy rate for offices with more than 660 sq. meters of floor space was 2.94% in May, lower than the 2.95% reported in Tokyo's 23 wards. Fukuoka's vacancy rate was not far from that range, at 3.08%. On the other hand, average rents in Fukuoka and Sapporo were respectively 23% and 44% cheaper than in Tokyo's 23 wards.