SoftBank’s CEO said that Japan is losing ground in the R&D arena, particularly in fast developing technologies like Artificial Intelligence

Japan risks losing its position as one of the world’s foremost destinations for research and innovation in the technology sector, due to a lack of investment opportunities, according to SoftBank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son.

A report by Channel News Asia highlighted Japan’s declining investment in research and development, as investors look for more favourable conditions overseas.

Speaking at the company’s annual SoftBank World event in Japan, Son said that the country was in danger of losing its reputation as one of the preeminent destinations for innovation.

"Until recently Japan was at the technological leading edge. In the most important current technology revolution – artificial intelligence – Japan has become a developing country," Son said at an annual SoftBank event for suppliers and customers.

"Unfortunately, there are virtually no companies that can be called global No 1 unicorns," Son said.

SoftBank heads up the $100 billion Vision Fund and is proactively searching for up and coming destinations in which to invest. The firm recently created a $5 billion investment fund to fast track research and development initiatives in Latin America.

Son said that Japan was now losing out on lucrative investment as funds around the world preferred the favourable economic conditions in developing markets such as Latin America and India.  

Also in the news:

US states to block T-Mobile Sprint merger 

SoftBank doing due dilligence on Reliance Jio

SoftBank names Nokia as its RAN supplier in Japan