The EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation is a project of the European Union managed by the Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) of the European Commission, and implemented in cooperation with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). Its overall aim is to contribute to sustainable urban development and innovation cooperation between the EU and Japan in line with the external dimension of “Europe 2020.” The project will be implemented until November 2023.

The objective of the project is to support European Regions and Japanese Prefectures to exchange best practices and knowledge to improve and to internationalise their respective regional innovation strategies while promoting international value chains.

Networking facilitation and knowledge exchange for EU regions and Japanese prefectures is done through holding exchange meetings, webinars, trainings as well as organising study visits.

First study visits of EU regions visiting Japanese prefectures were carried out in November 2022, which resulted in deepening knowledge sharing between the EU regions and the Japanese prefectures.

As a continuation of such good cooperation, senior officials and experts from five Japanese prefectures (Oita, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Aichi) have recently visited EU regions (Emilia Romagna, Ljubljana Urban Region, Val d’Oise, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (AuRA), Basque Country, Catalonia

These June study visits provided opportunities for EU regions and Japanese prefectures to meet together, exchange information and ideas and try to find partners to cooperate.