The Modern Dutch-Japanese Relations: Mutual Benefits

Oktober 10, 2023

As the previous articles introduced the long-lasting relation between The Netherlands and Japan, and the effects it has on culture, trade, and modern cooperation, this article is aiming to delve into the current benefits between these countries. The long history made it possible for the aforementioned countries to enjoy mutual benefits in the present.

While The Netherlands accommodates over 10,000 Japanese expats and approximately 700 Japanese companies, they enjoy various benefits among a simplified process for visa and fewer requirements for renewing a permanent visa. As The Netherlands values the long history that it has with Japan, this country is becoming more popular among start-ups and students since 2009. The Japanese community in The Netherlands is growing fast and it is considered as one of the best places in Europe to build a start-up especially by using blockchains. Simultaneously, The Netherlands invests money and time into cyber security industry, therefore start-ups that are active in the video gaming domain or rely on the blockchains are supported by the rules and laws regarding cyber security compliance. Another benefit that can be enjoyed by the Japanese expats in The Netherlands lays under the bilateral Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between The Netherlands and Japan since 1912 which states that a Japanese can acquire a Dutch residence permit for the purpose of entrepreneurship in the case the establishment of the business takes place in The Netherlands and 4,500 euro are invested into the Dutch business. To further support SMEs, The Netherlands established various funds that are serving as support to Japanese companies coming into the Dutch market, such as: Creative Industries Fund NL (for design, creative industries, architecture, digital culture), Mondriaan Fund (for visual arts), Performing Arts Fund (for theatre, dance, music, opera), Dutch Film Fund, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and Cultural Participation Fund (for communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals). However, companies who are active on different industries than the aforementioned ones are entitled to apply for funding coming from the European Union as well if the company is/will be registered in The Netherlands.

Furthermore, companies that are willing to be stronger connected to the European market are establishing offices or are merging with Dutch companies in The Netherlands. Japan finds The Netherlands as a well-positioned country with several benefits for infrastructure, health system and sustainability. The newest company entering the Dutch market in order to establish its position within the European market is Sekisui, a Japanese manufacturing company whose main producing line consists of foam urethane sleepers. The establishment of the new Sekisui factory in The Netherlands will take place in Roermond, a region within The Netherlands that is very well-connected to Germany’s North Rhine region, along with transport links to the Dutch, Belgian and French ports.

On the other side, Japan is welcoming various Dutch expats and companies yearly with a rising number after the pandemic. The Dutch community in Japan accommodates approximately 2000 people, whereas the number of Dutch companies present in Japan is not very big, it is identified that over 2800 companies are trading with Japan. For establishing a company in Japan, the Dutch entrepreneurs could benefit from various funds such as: The Japan Bank International Cooperation (supporting foreign direct investments, overseas projects involving natural resources, and projects contributing to environmental preservation), The Development Bank of Japan (providing long-term financing services for infrastructure, energy, and industrial projects), The Japan Finance Corporation for Small Business (assisting SMEs with various financing needs such as start-up, expansion, and innovation), and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (offers insurance and guarantees for export, imports, and overseas investments by Japanese companies). Simultaneously, the Treaty between The Netherlands and Japan regarding exemption from/refund of dividend tax brings mutual benefits for the both parties involved. Therefore, companies from both countries enjoy an exemption from/refund of the dividend tax of 5% each year for 5 consecutive years for the proceeds of shares, profit-sharing certificates and profit-sharing bonds with the convention percentage being 10%. For exempted pension funds, for the proceeds of shares, profit-sharing certificates and profit-sharing bonds the convention percentage is 0% and the exemption/refund percentage 15%.

Lastly, the close relationships between The Netherlands and Japan are constantly becoming stronger through the mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan and their extensive networking activities within Japan for Dutch expats and companies. A project that will concretize the close relations between the two countries is the World Expo 2025 that will take place in Osaka. The Dutch pavilion offers hospitality and facility management to Dutch companies in order to present themselves on a large international stage. The Netherlands participation has the theme ‚Common Ground: creating a new dawn together‘ and aims to showcase Dutch innovative solutions in areas such as the energy transition. During this large scale event, the Dutch delegation intends to provide a meeting place for businesses, knowledge institutions, and (cultural) organisations to bring together different perspectives and expertise in order to find collective solutions to global challenges, as well as introducing the collaborations between The Netherlands and Japan from the past few years that are fighting against climate change and supporting renewable energy transition.




Belastingdienst. (2023). Treaty countries. Retrieved from Business – For entrepreneurs not established in the Netherlands:

European Commission. (2023). EU-Japan – a boost for jobs and exports in the Netherlands. Retrieved from EU trade relationships by country/region:,Netherlands%20tha

Government of The Netherlands . (2023, September 25). Pre-announcement of the Tender for the Operation of the Netherlands Pavilion at Expo 2025 in Osaka. Retrieved from Government of The Netherlands :

Japan Times. (2023, May 20). The Netherlands and Japan: Moving forward together. Retrieved from Japan Times:

Kingdom of the Netherlands. (2023). Dutch-Japanese relations. Retrieved from Netherlands and you:

Kwok, J. (2023). Dutch Japanese Commerce & Navigation Treaty: a residence permit for Japanese entrepreneurs. Retrieved from Mynta Law:

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan. (2023). Advertising and Sponsorship. Retrieved from Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan:

Vitale, C. (2023, October 07). Sekisui to open $52m sleeper factory in the Netherlands. Retrieved from GlobalData:

Yang, I. (2022). Japan. Retrieved from DutchCulture:



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