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Updated on October 30, 2013

Tokyo Metropolitan Government successfully attracts a Canadian company to the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters

Oct 30, 2013
Headquarters of the Governor of Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, in the course of its activities aimed at bringing foreign companies to the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters, has successfully encouraged Voice Enabling System Technology Inc. (hereafter referred as Vestec Inc.) to set up an R&D center in the Special Zone. Based in Canada, Vestec Inc. provides artificial intelligence-based speech recognition technology.

Vestec Inc. was established by a research and development group from the University of Waterloo in Canada and provides speech recognition technology enabling understanding of ordinary spoken language with high accuracy, with talk back function. 19 languages worldwide are covered.

Vestec Inc. had been considering operations in Japan because of the concentration of business partners for product development as well as the rising demand for speech recognition technology that makes it easier to control complex devices than using only touch panels and remote control buttons. In particular this helps to address the needs of Japan’s increasing numbers of senior citizens. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government supported the company by promoting business partnership formation in Japan by offering consulting services. This led Vestec Inc. to confirm its direction to set up an R&D center within the Special Zone.

At the newly-established R&D center, Vestec Inc. plans to work with Japanese companies to research and develop products that are easy to use for every person, including residential equipments, information devices, home appliances, and automobile-related devices, and supply these products to the global market.

This will be the second case for a foreign company to establish its Asian regional headquarters or R&D center under the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters project.

For more details on Vestec Inc., please refer to the following website.

What is the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters?

  • Areas where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is implementing a new project to attract foreign companies to Tokyo
  • Goal: To attract 500 foreign companies or more by fiscal 2016, including 50 companies establishing their Asian regional headquarters or R&D center
  • Special Zone for Asian Headquarters website:

*This is a priority project of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which has been designated in the 2013 Action Program for Tokyo Vision 2020 as coming under the following goal and policy.
Goal 5: Put Tokyo on a new track to growth by raising industrial power and the allure of the city
Policy 12: Shape Tokyo into Asia’s top business hub by cultivating industries that
will support Tokyo’s development


Asian Headquarters Special Zone Section
Headquarters of the Governor of Tokyo

Phone: 03-5388-2864