Coworking space WeWork makes headway in Japan, uses government-related activities


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

WeWork Shimbashi location
Image credit: “Tex” Pomeroy

WeWork, the New York-born coworking space operation with a global company which entered the Japanese market this year. It already has four locations to Tokyo, thanks to adept leveraging of government-related activities. There are already many real estate companies in Japan looking to use the increased demand to expand their business, but foreign-affiliated services that until now were targeting the high-end of the market is joining the fray.

The Roppongi/ARK Hills South base where the Governor of Tokyo visited to highlight investments from abroad recently is one example. ARK Hills is known as the base for Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Within ARK Hills also can be found the associated Invest Tokyo center, which handles activities like bringing in foreign direct investment.

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But those near other properties such as Toranomon Hills located close to the Japan Red Cross and Mid-Town Hibiya, in addition to city center Marunouchi and shopping district Ginza, are now available in Japan’s capital. As for the nearby Shimbashi WeWork site, it is close to Toranomon/Kasumigaseki, the government quarters of Japan, and the WeWork location just south of the Foreign Ministry-supported ASEAN Centre is now home to the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCC).

It will soon open its Shibuya branch, the place now known as the startup hub of Tokyo; Plug-and-Play is another foreign player already sited in the area. Although not fully­confirmed at press time, it is understood that a foreign batterytech startup seems to find the possibility of a Shibuya office with easy access to the Canadian Embassy quite enticing. Further reporting on this will be forthcoming after the stealth mode period.