The city of Karatsu plans to build a cosmetics industry hub modelled on France's Cosmetic Valley
The city of Karatsu, in Japan’s Saga Prefecture, plans to build a cosmetics industry hub, modelled on Cosmetic Valley, an extensive cluster of manufacturers, plant growers and research facilities near Paris.
Currently, cosmetics from France are exported to markets such as China and South Korea via Hong Kong, taking about 40 days by ship. If Karatsu, a coastal city with access to the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, were to become a cosmetics hub, shipping costs and times would be cut.
Karatsu is already home to several cosmetics related companies, while the neighbouring town of Genkai grows herbs that can be used for cosmetics. The city is also counting on nearby Kyushu and Saga Universities to support product development through research on herbal ingredients. It is also hoped that local businesses will take charge of manufacturing and shipping operations.
The city signed a cooperation agreement with Cosmetic Valley in April. A group provisionally named the Japan Cosmetic Centre will be established in October in Karatsu. A preparatory meeting in July drew 12 groups from governments and academia. So far, about 30 companies (mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area) have inquired about the project, according to organisers.