Getting a startup off the ground is rarely a simple affair. In Japan, the difficulties are multiplied for foreign founders who must jump through a series of hoops to attain the appropriate right to work.
The innovation scene has become much more dynamic in the past decade, especially after the flea-market app Mercari attained unicorn status in 2018. Japan has been looking to accelerate growth in this sector further, recently introducing a Cabinet post to oversee the promotion of startup policies earlier this month. Some of the old stumbling blocks remain, however.