|Sun Microsystems is one of the world’s
leading computer server manufacturing and sales firms
that emerged as a venture firm in the U.S. with only four
employees in 1982. Now, over twenty years since incorporation,
the firm has grown into a major firm boasting business
locations in 170 nations and about 35,000 employees worldwide.
The Java technology developed by the firm has delivered
Sun Microsystems has selected Fukuoka as the region in
which to incorporate a business model that diverges away
from Tokyo. As the reason for selecting Fukuoka, Masashi
Nakamura, a representative who was involved in the preparations
for the Kyushu Office as well as the start in March 2003
of business based in Fukuoka, stated, “The first
factor is market potential. The GDP of Fukuoka Prefecture
alone is on par with the GDP of the entire Netherlands.
Moreover, Fukuoka is situated close to the Asian market,
the hottest market in the global economy. Furthermore,
office rent and other fixed costs are lower than Tokyo
and these savings can in turn be invested into new businesses
and R&D. It is understandable why the bulk of major
Japanese firms have established bases in Kyushu. I am
also working on a new project aimed at creating something
that will become a global standard that started in Fukuoka.”
However, in reality there are yet regional issues to be
tackled. “Firstly, I believe an environment that
facilitates the development of profitable businesses must
be created in local regions. I believe this requires the
effort of all information firms in Fukuoka. Our challenge
is to create a new market together with regional firms
and local governments and to establish an environment
that will attract business from around the world to Kyushu,”
says Nakamura. Backing this statement is Sun Microsystems’
proactive involvement in IT human resource development,
entrepreneur support and other projects in Fukuoka Prefecture.
As an example of the fruit of such efforts, Fukuoka’s
EitaroSoft produced the 3D mascot Duke, introduced on
the Sun Microsytems’ official Java.com site, in
cooperation with Sun Microsystems and this subsequently
gave Sun Microsystems the opportunity to introduce that
technology to the world.
“The people of Kyushu are strongly self-assertion,
take on challenges in a cheerful fun manner and create
new ideas that are unbelievable,” comments Nakamura.
Sun Microsystems’ persistent challenges in alliance
with the local region will likely become the force that
generates a westerly wind pushing businesses from Fukuoka
to break out onto the world scene.
|Sun Microsystems K.K.
||Head Office Tokyo
Branch Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
||Markets computer systems, software and related
equipment that serve as the infrastructure for network
computing, as well as various services such as maintenance