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Market Entry-Business Plan Support Japan (“Keys to Japan”)


Keys to Japan is an European Commission-funded initiative, managed by the EU-Japan Centre (EEN Japan). If you are considering marketing a product or service in Japan  and you are an SME from an EU Member-State or SMP-COSME Third Country (*)under Keys to Japan, you can get a detailed and personalised market entry business plan, prepared by JMEC.

For 2023 there will be two winners.


Who is eligible to apply?

Any relevant industrial or consumer product or service company is eligible to apply (please see more conditions below).

Applicants must be citizens of an EU Member-State or SMP-COSME Third Country (*), working in a management position for a SME headquartered in the EU or in a SMP-COSME Third Country (*)The person applying must be at least 20 years of age at the date of submission of the application form.


Deadline to apply: 3 July 2023 (17h30 Tokyo time)

Valid applications will be assessed on the quality of the proposed market entry project, the justifications given for wanting to enter the Japanese market, the potential for a successful market entry of the product / service, and on possible risks and challenges in Japan.

(*) Please check the status of your country at https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/smp/guidance/list-3rd-country-participation_smp_en.pdf, Please only refer to the sub-paragraph: “COSME strand”.

SMP-COSME: Stands for “Countries Participating in the COSME strand of the Single Market Programme”. The Single Market Programme is the Commission programme that has been funding the EU-Japan Centre, including its  “KEYS TO JAPAN” action starting from 1 April 2022.


Financial conditions for session 2023/2024

Each market entry draft plan is worth €10,000 and will be prepared by JMEC (http://www.jmec.gr.jp/).

The cost of each plan will be covered partially by the EU-Japan Centre (€ 9000), and partially by the SME (€ 1000).


Terms and conditions


In no event can the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation be considered liable for the selection or non-selection of any candidate for the “Keys to Japan” programme.

In no event will the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation be liable for any advice or information given by JMEC.

In no event will the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive, exemplary, consequential or subsequent damages or any loss of business or profits, regardless of legal theory, whether or not the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation has been warned of the possibility of such damages, for the use, non-use or omission of any information or advice provided by “Keys to Japan” programme affiliates.


Successful candidates will receive a detailed and personalised “market entry plan” which will remain confidential. Successful candidates have the duty to keep all information received from the Japan Market Expansion Competition confidential unless otherwise stated by the Japan Market Expansion Competition. The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation will keep confidential all information provided by the candidates for the application.

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