Report of the 13th meeting

Spaces of International Economy and Management conducted a research group meeting at the autumn conference of the Association of Japanese Geographers at Ehime University in Matsuyama City on September 19, 2015. SIEM received presentations from two young scholars. Their research is summarized below. Chaired by Professor Atsushi Taira a fruitful discussion among participants followed each presentation. After the presentations, Professor Taira also explained the road map and the outline of a joint research project investigating the role of global managers in world cities led by Professor Rolf D. Schlunze and asked for participation in this project.

1. Presentation: Natsuki Kamakura (Univ. of Tokyo):
Spatial strategy and management of globalizing the research and development function of Japanese-affiliated chemical firms.

It is becoming increasingly critical for firms to obtain new knowledge and technology locally located in the world, and we are witnessing globalization of research and development functions (R&D) of firms. This presentation aims to explain global spatial dynamics of R&D functions of leading Japanese Chemical firms from the points of structure and location of firms and knowledge flows in R&D processes between relevant entities of firms. Firstly, throughout the 2000s, we saw geographical changes of R&D functions of chemical firms along with worldwide expansion of the market, especially that of China. Case studies of 16 leading Japanese chemical firms have revealed that their R&D entities in Europe and America are mostly the result of M&A and that the number of R&D entities in Asia, especially in China and Singapore, has been growing since 2000, putting emphasis on accessibility to customers and R&D offices of other firms. Secondly, it is revealed that spatial dynamics of R&D entities of Japanese chemical firms are different according to their product characteristics: while semiconductor-related products are still developed in Japan, display-related products are increasingly developed in foreign entities.

2. Presentation: Takahito Niwa (Policy Research Center of the City of Utsunomiya):
Trends and issues of regional industry promotion in the city of Utsunomiya

On the face of globalization, new local development policy is needed to develop sustainable industries. This paper examines issues and agendas of local policies for developing sustainable local industries. The existence of an industrial cluster is critical for the technical competence of the locality. In order to develop the locality, multiplication of industrial clusters while targeting industries with future potential is key. In Tochigi area, the City of Utsunomiya has been asked to play the leading role through relevant measures involving nearby municipalities. For realization of policies, the existence of leading manufacturing local firms which have connecter-hub functions are critical. But currently, examples are limited in Utsunomiya. Thus it is urgently needed for the City of Utsunomiya to assist the growth of those leading manufacturing firms in the region, especially helping technological advancement of those firms.

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