Why Tokyo

Tokyo: One of the most connected asian cities

Tokyo is one of the most exciting and attractive destinations to visit in the world.

Japan maintains a strong traditional and cultural history whilst also being a world leader in innovative technology, design and fashion.  

With more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, Tokyo’s restaurants provide an incredible offer for visitors and is a key factor in why the city holds an incredible attraction for international visitors.

With its exceptional infrastructure, world-class cuisine, its rich cultural history and heritage to explore, and its dynamic contemporary scene – Tokyo is a great draw for international visitors and has significant potential to become a key fixture on the international art calendar.

Tokyo’s vibrant gallery scene has been established for more than 50 years and has amongst the highest curatorial standards in programming and presentation of anywhere in the world.  

The impact of Japanese cultural production is respected worldwide, from the fundamental influence of Edo period woodblock prints on the birth of Modern art, through to the central role that the experimental practice of Japanese artists has had to play in contemporary art globally from the 1960s to the present day. Through Japan’s hugely influential popular culture from Anime to Film, from Design and Fashion to Architecture and Music, Japanese culture has been one of the driving forces of global culture over the past 50 years. 

Japan is the third largest economy in the world after USA and China whilst Tokyo is considered the largest urban economy on the planet, and is the second wealthiest city in the world with 81,645 individuals with assets in excess of USD 5 million (second only to New York).

A wealth centre and Safe haven​

Based on the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2020, Southeast Asia is projected to be one of the top regions for ultra high net worth increase, having four out of the top twelve fastest growing UHNWI markets globally. As Southeast Asia’s gateway city and regional hub, Singapore is primed to benefit from this growth. The country’s ranks of the ultra wealthy is expected to swell by 30% between 2020 – 2025.

These above movements can be traced towards several key factors: Singapore’s safe haven reputation, the high standard of living demanded by a new generation of high-earning professionals, strong and enduring economic fundamentals, and a competitive tax regime. As a result Singapore has attracted the region’s mega-rich to have a presence, particularly from the surrounding countries of China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, who gravitate towards the stable governance, banking infrastructure, education, medical care, and general ease of access in Singapore. In addition to lifestyle, the UHNWIs are attracted to the country’s potential for investment, particularly Singapore’s commitment to supporting the rise of disruptive business models created through technology and abundant capital.

As one of the world’s leading private banking and wealth management centres, Singapore has been positioned at the epicentre of Southeast Asia’s wealth creation story over the past decade. In 2018, the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook ranked the nation’s GDP per capita as fourth highest in the world, surpassing Hong Kong, and in 2019, Singapore reached first place within the World Economic Forum’s assessment of the most competitive economies globally.

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2019, average wealth per adult in Singapore is at an impressive level. In 2019, Singapore moved from ninth to sixth in the world in terms of household wealth per adult, holding the second place in Asia behind Hong Kong. Singapore has 207,000 USD millionaires and 2.18 million Singaporeans are in the top 10% of global wealth holders, a high number given that Singapore has a population of just 6 million, while 5% of the total population are in the top 1% of global wealth holders.

Despite its smaller population, between 2018 to 2019 Singapore witnessed one of the highest growth rates of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in the world, as defined by personal wealth exceeding US$ 30 million (S$ 40.1 million).

Asia’s Silicon valley ​​

In recent years, Singapore has accelerated its growth in future innovation and technologies, through which it has acquired the reputation of Asia’s Silicon Valley. Both the Singapore government and private venture capitals have put significant attention into key pillars such as cybersecurity, blockchain, immersive media, augmented reality and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence which in turn are stimulating industries such as FinTech and MedTech. Foreign investment into Singapore in 2020 totalled over US$ 12.9 billion (S$ 17.2 billion), a 12-year high.

59% of global tech companies have their Asian regional headquarters in Singapore, and 80 out of world’s top 100 leading tech firms are represented. Big Tech firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon use the country as a springboard to chase regional growth, particularly fast growing neighbouring economies such as Indonesia and Thailand. As of 2021, Singapore also has the largest China tech cluster outside of China, including companies like Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba who are rapidly scaling up their presence. Not only do these companies bring in their businesses, the wealth of their founders also follows suit, emulating how tech executives flooded into Silicon Valley in the 80s and 90s.

Japan’s Art Scene

Singapore is home to one of the most vibrant art scenes and ecologies in Asia, with strong financial and lifestyle ties to other regional capitals such as Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. Anchored by major museums such as the National Gallery of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum, which staged high profile shows such as Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. (November 2018 – February 2019) and Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow (June – November 2018), which attracted record breaking crowds, as well as the Singapore Biennale, the leading biennale within Southeast Asia, there is significant institution-led outreach and encouragement to draw the general public to visual art events.

A growing regional collector base provides strong artistic patronage and the foundation for a thriving gallery scene. Visual arts precincts such as Gillman Barracks – a former military barracks now re-designated for arts and cultural usage – feature excellent international and local galleries, who represent and create exhibitions for Southeast Asia’s most outstanding artists. These are augmented by residency programs, public art projects and collector-driven platforms which highlight the diversity of artistic production within Singapore and across the region.