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What’s Inside Hanoi’s Upcoming Entirely Made-in-Japan Smart Town?

In less than a decade, some Hanoi residents might be able to live and work in a smart town that’s built entirely with Japanese technologies.

According to an in-depth feature by Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese government is teaming up with more than 20 companies to construct a smart town in Vietnam from scratch. Work on the project – the biggest Japan-led project overseas so far – is already underway and aiming for a 2023 launch.

The town spans 310 hectares and will cost JPY4 trillion (US$37.3 billion). Funding for the town will come from the pocket of the companies, the Japanese government’s overseas development assistance, and subsidies from the Vietnamese government.

Plans for developing the high-tech town is in line with Japan’s initiative to attract more international orders by using the Vietnam project as a platform for Japanese companies to showcase the quality and convenience of their products, from logistic solutions to subway construction to retail and services.

The 20-odd involved firms each brings their own expertise into making the town a reality. General trader Sumitomo Corp. leads the consortium while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) helps with negotiating on the Vietnam side.

Architecture firm Nikken Sekkei will design the smart town, which will be situated just 15 minutes away from Hanoi’s downtown. In the future, urbanites can also travel to the “Japan town” via Hanoi’s Metro Line 2. There have also been talks to establish a link to Noi Bai International Airport.

Among the project partners are Mitsubishi and Tokyo Metro. The former is set to populate the future town with self-driving buses and electric charging stations while the latter will lend its expertise to subway operation. Within the new town, the consortium hopes to add a Japanese touch with scores of cherry trees.

The article revealed that the town could commence work on the first phase this October, putting some 7,000 residential and commercial structures on the map by the end of 2019. These condo units will be available at JPY10-15 million each (VND2.1-3.2 billion) and come outfitted with Japanese amenities, such as Panasonic appliances, air-conditioning from Daikin, and smart meters from telecommunication firm KDDI.

[Top photo: the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town constructed by Panasonic in Japan / Hanoi Times]

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