(This is Part 2 of a two-part series about Japan’s climate-tech/ clean-tech sector. Part 1 appeared in the May 29, 2023 edition of the Weekly)
The primary vectors stipulated in the government’s action plan on economic revitalization indicate that climate tech is finally going mainstream in Japan. And while big business will be heavily involved, some of the most vibrant innovations in the technologies and services aimed at tackling climate change are carried by a wave of new startups.
In June, Prime Minister Kishida’s Cabinet approved an updated version of the “Grand Design and Action Plan for a New Form of Capitalism,” which will determine the country’s economic trajectory. The update includes a reference to climate-tech in a chapter on the overall promotion of startups, underscoring the potential that this technology could play in the energy transition.
Climate tech is a rather wide field, and includes innovations in a whole range of economic sectors: manufacturing, engineering, power generation, transportation, and the digital services sectors. To help accelerate R&D across the economy, the government has unveiled a five-year plan to encourage new ventures, supported with a ¥1 trillion budget and easier visa regimes for entrepreneurs, among other actions.
Though Japan’s climate tech scene is still in its infancy, there are promising startups across a number of sectors. Companies in nuclear fusion and carbon accounting have been making headlines with new funding and business deals, but other areas such as agritech are seeing a number of ventures with much potential. We examine some of the leading names in the Japanese scene and the investment funds involved….