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San Jose: the urban center of Silicon Valley

Feb 21, 2020


As the largest city in Northern California, the city of San Jose is home to global companies seeking the benefits of operating in its rich ecosystem of manufacturing, research, prototyping, engineering and marketing.

An informal meeting in one of San Jose's downtown office buildings.

Companies such as Olympus, ANA, Sony, Kawasaki Robotics, Fujitsu and Muji have operations in San Jose, where they are close to customers, vendors and 55,000 skilled manufacturing workers.

In addition to being at the center of the technology world, San Jose offers overseas companies the advantages of operating within its Foreign Trade Zone 18, for which San Jose is grantee. A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a territory in the  U.S. that exists outside of U.S. Customs, and the site is considered to be in international commerce. Companies currently operating within FTZ 18 include Tesla, Bloom Energy, Space Systems Loral and Lam Research.

“A key benefit of operating a business in an FTZ is that duties and tariffs on imported merchandise can be delayed, reduced or even eliminated. This can have a significant impact on the bottom line, and enhances a company’s global competitiveness,” said Joe Hedges, City of San Jose international affairs manager.


Mineta San Jose International Airport: Soaring to new heights

Feb 21, 2020
Credit : GMI Post


For many travelers, an airport is the gateway to their destination. For those traveling to and from Silicon Valley, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) offers easy access, modern facilities and excellent service to more than 1 million residents of San Jose and more than 4 million others in the world’s high-tech capital — an area that is constantly changing and growing.

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport's Terminal B offers a sleek and modern design with an abundant of amenities and close-in parking to Silicon Valley travelers.

SJC has experienced an unprecedented 60 percent growth in passengers over the past five years, making it North America’s fastest-growing major airport. As passenger traffic reached 15.7 million in 2019 and forecast to rise to 18 million over the next four years, SJC is planning its next phase of expansion that includes a third state-of-the-art terminal and more nearby parking facilities.

“To accommodate our rapid passenger growth, we added six interim gates last year to better serve our customers and airport partners. This temporary facility will serve our passengers for the next five to seven years as we build new facilities to meet our growing demand,” SJC Deputy Director of Aviation Scott Wintner said.

In 2013, All Nippon Airways (ANA) launched a daily nonstop flight to Narita International Airport from SJC with much anticipation as Japan was a top-requested destination by business travelers. Connecting these two major high-tech hubs was a significant milestone as this successful partnership cleared the airways for more international carriers to provide service at SJC.

From March 29, ANA will shift its daily nonstop service to Haneda Airport, which will cut travel time between central Tokyo and the heart of Silicon Valley. The move to Haneda will also open new convenient connections between Silicon Valley and cities throughout Japan. 

Additionally, Haneda service begins “just in time” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


Port of Stockton: Japan's port of choice

Feb 21, 2020
Credit : GMI Post


Breaking its record for the fifth year in a row, the Port of Stockton handled 4.5 million metric tons of cargo in 2019, a direct result of its management’s agility to adapt to an ever-changing global market and prudent handling of its financial resources.

Amid rising demand, the Port of Stockton is engaged in a continuous expansion of its facilities.

The port is located in the middle of California’s Central Valley and has easy access to two major freeways. The Port of Stockton is also served by Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway, two of the largest freight-hauling railway services in the United States. Because of its location and connectivity, the port is among the favorites for handling dedicated bulk and break-bulk shipments, such as raw materials, steel, cement, animal feeds and fertilizer.

“We have a lot of local ties to businesses here in Northern California, particularly with farmers and processors. We’re seeing our growth inherent in a strong economy right now,” said Port of Stockton Marketing Manager Pete Grossgart.

Over the past several years, the port has focused on diversifying the commodities that it handles based on market demand. Japan has received about two-thirds of the port’s exports of bagged rice, bulk beet pellets, tire chips and coal. As Japan moves toward environmental sustainability, the port has managed to compensate for the decline in coal shipments with renewable fuels.

“Renewables, such as biomass and wood pellets, are opportunities where we see a big market and we want to be in front of it. We want everyone to know that we are open for business,” Grossgart said.

Recognizing the importance of maintaining its relationships with the Japanese market, the Port of Stockton’s management organizes working visits to Asia every other year.

“We appreciate the continued support. We really do appreciate every ounce of cargo that comes across our docks. We are very proud to be trusted by our Japanese customers with their cargo and we hope to never let them down and disappoint them,” Grossgart added.


Northern California 2020 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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