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Nihonbashi Life Science Building (former Astellas headquarters)

Nihonbashi Life Science
Building (former Astellas

Japanese real estate giant Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. recently unveiled an initiative to promote the development of life sciences in Japan. The Life Science Innovation Network Japan, Inc. (LINK-J) will be based in Nihonbashi, the historical headquarters of the country’s pharmaceutical industry and currently home to Japan’s top four pharmaceutical companies, as well as global players. In keeping with this strong heritage, LINK-J will focus on making Nihonbashi a place where the next generation of scientists can develop new products and businesses.

Today, new ideas increasingly come from open innovation, multidisciplinary research, and international collaboration. For this reason, LINK-J provides a platform through which all players in the field of life sciences—as well as outside experts—can come together. Areas of focus include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, as well as supporting fields such as intellectual property management, finance, information technology, and data science.

In Nihonbashi, scientists from throughout the country and abroad can easily meet. For this reason, several of Japan’s leading research universities have already set up satellite campuses within the area. These include the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Osaka University. Providing essential global outreach, the University of California, San Diego, as well as the global life sciences organization Biocom—both located in one of the fastest-growing life-sciences hubs in the United States—will base their Japanese activities in Nihonbashi.

LINK-J is led by Hideyuki Okano, dean of the Keio University School of Medicine, together with a number of leading scientists and medical specialists: Shinya Yamanaka, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and director at the iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University; Yoichiro Matsumoto, executive director of RIKEN; and Peter F. Cowhey, dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD.


To support LINK-J’s activities, Mitsui Fudosan has created several facilities such as the Nihonbashi Life Science Building. Spacious conference rooms and communication lounges provide opportunities to interact, learn, and connect. Regular symposiums and networking events—such as the Medical Innovators Summit—bring together professionals and students.

Part of a long-term strategic plan for the Nihonbashi area, Mitsui Fudosan will initiate a number of urban redevelopment projects in the coming years. New offices, housing, retail, and outdoor areas will provide space, while new initiatives such as LINK-J will provide the environment for businesses and the local community to grow.

For global players in the field of life sciences, involvement in the LINK-J community can provide immense opportunities for procuring funds, creating alliances, recruiting talent, and accessing innovation in Japan.

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LINK-J aims to elevate Nihonbashi as Japan's premier hub for life science and innovation.