Today, The Straits Times reported that Japanese railway operator JR East (East Japan Railway Company) Singapore has just opened a coworking space in Singapore.
Called One&Co, the 13,000 sq ft coworking space will be able to accommodate around 275 people across private offices, desks, and meeting rooms.
About a quarter of One&Co’s premises will be dedicated to holding public events, networking sessions, and talks.
One&Co will be located on the 11th floor of Twenty Anson in Tanjong Pagar.
JR East Singapore general manage Takatoki Izumi told The Straits Times that he hopes the coworking space will “help build a community for Japanese and Singapore companies” and provide a platform for companies from both countries to “forge connections and facilitate the exchange of technology and ideas”.
He revealed that at the moment, “not many Japanese companies are using [coworking spaces], perhaps due to their shyness and reluctance to join the local community”.
“Our coworking space’s mission is to make Japanese companies more localised in Singapore.”
He added that they also hope that this space will help Japanese companies “diversify their operations and conduct market research that will aid them in expanding out of Japan”.
An Idea 18 Months In The Making
In his interview, Mr Izumi shared that the opening of a coworking space in Singapore is an idea conceived about 18 months ago, and is part of JR East’s plans to expand out of Japan.
He admitted that the firm is facing several domestic business challenges, and this move was done in hopes to “[revitalise] the Japanese economy”.
On why Singapore was chosen, he said that Singapore “is more open to adopting new technologies” in comparison with Japan, and believes that Japanese tech firms will stand to benefit from the ecosystem here.
Mr Izumi added that they have joined forces with Osaka City-backed startup community Osaka Innovation Hub, and the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) Singapore to develop the coworking space.
With these partnerships, Singapore-based firms will be able to gain insights into the Japanese market and leverage connections within the community.
Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore, and Jetro had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last year to strengthen links between startups and businesses from both countries.