New-Japan Business Consulting
Business strategy reports, business matching and M&A in Japan


OpenAI has established a Japanese subsidiary.

OpenAI Japan LLC, the Japanese subsidiary of the US-based OpenAI, has been established and started operations in Japan.

The opening of the office in Tokyo is the company’s fourth location following San Francisco, London and Dublin, and its first foray into Asia. Tadao Nagasaki, former president of AWS Japan, was appointed president and representative executive officer, and at a press conference held in Tokyo on 15 April, President Nagasaki said: ‘This is a memorable first day for OpenAI to take its first steps on Japanese soil. We can lead various Japanese companies and industries in the right direction. Through dialogue with Japanese customers, we hope to create examples over the next few years that have not yet been thought of”, he said.

OpenAI was founded in San Francisco in 2015 and has commercialised Chat GPT, a generative AI for individuals, ChatGPT Team for SMEs and ChatGPT Enterprise for enterprise companies. It offers GPT-4, GPT-4 Turbo, GPT-3.5, DALL-E, TTS and WHISPER as generative AI models. In addition, the OpenAI API enables developers to develop applications using OpenAI models.

In conjunction with this, the company also announced the availability of a GPT-4 custom model optimised for the Japanese language. This model improves the performance and cost-effectiveness of translation and summarisation of Japanese text, and is up to three times faster than the previous model. The GPT-4 Customised Japanese is said to be up to three times faster than the previous GPT-4 Turbo model. By using it, the English learning application ‘Speak’ has demonstrated that the tutor’s explanations when users make mistakes are 2.8 times faster, the number of tokens has been reduced and costs have been cut by 47% due to increased efficiency. ‘Through our Tokyo base, we are able to learn about Japanese culture and the nuances of communication, and we will be working with partners to strengthen our customised model for the Japanese language.’

OpenAI Japan will have a sales, technical and liaison department, with more than a dozen people within 2024, and will be responsible for supporting the use of OpenAI by existing users and interacting with the government, as well as sales activities and business development, as well as product and service planning, communications and operations.

In a video message, CEO Sam Altman said: ‘This is the first step in a long-term partnership with the Japanese government, companies and research institutions. Given Japan’s history of technology and innovation leadership, Tokyo was a natural choice for our base. We are grateful to have Japan as a partner and to be embarking on a future where AI is a catalyst for unprecedented innovation and positive social change”.

Ana Makanju, Vice President for External Relations, said, “At the G7 Hiroshima Summit last autumn, the Government of Japan led the G7 Hiroshima AI Process as a major initiative in AI policy. It is committed to implementing AI policies that are consistent with the goals of human dignity, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable societies, and OpenAI will also be working within an international framework to develop generative AI. We believe that the opening of an office in Tokyo will be effective in solving Japan’s social challenges and in setting rules for AI development and use.