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The location of a large military base, Misawa Air Base, Misawa sits in the Aomori Prefecture of Japan and has a population of about 39,649. The military base is under joint operation between the United States Air Force's 35th Fighter Wing Naval Air Facility and Japan Air Self-Defense Force's 3rd Fighter Wing. Add in the fact that it is also home for the signals intelligence and other bogeyman stuff of the United States and you get the picture that it is awash in American personnel. In fact there are 10,000 workers with their families, which are not taken into account in their population figures. Misawa is a regional industrial and commercial hub with its economy based around agriculture and commercial fishing. There are numerous educational facilities in the city pushing out tech savvy youth who have now taken up the lure of creating their own startups and are happily collaborating in coworking venues in the city.

Japan's youth are changing their view on entrepreneurship and are not afraid of the stigma of failure any more, thanks to the media hype surrounding startups. Once being adventurous and going alone or with other tech savvy souls was Plan B for many youths scared of not having a job; whereas today many are leaving their corporate positions to found their own companies or to join other startups.

Japan does lag behind China and Silicon Valley, but the future holds a more positive outlook. Many successful founders are now investing in new companies and young people are becoming more attracted to what the startup world can offer, such as freedom in the way you work. For those who have big ideas, it appears that health care, agritech Internet of Things, enterprise software and artificial intelligence are the popular niche markets. Coworking venues are today overflowing with inventive souls who wish to gain new skills, connect and collaborate with likeminded people.

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