The State figures high on the investment plans of Japanese businesses exploring opportunities in the country, according to Naoyoshi Noguchi of the Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

After car major Toyota Kirloskar Motor and motorcycle major Honda set up their facilities and eco-systems in the State, big Japanese names look set to add new investments in other sectors, Mr. Noguchi, who heads the Japanese government-sponsored JETRO in Delhi, has said.

Their country’s economy had started to look up, and existing Japanese companies felt at home here and planned to expand their operations in the coming year, especially in the South. Among them are Toyota, Honda and their suppliers Aisin, Sony, Komatsu and Hitachi. Other big names are also firming up their India plans. In particular, Japanese companies were keen on developing the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor proposal, besides getting into construction equipment, IT, electronics and infrastructure sectors, Mr. Noguchi, whose organisation brought in a delegation of 50 companies to study Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, said on Thursday. JETRO and Karnataka Udyog Mitra organised a seminar for prospective Japanese investors.

“Apart from [the automobile sector and] the Chennai-Bangalore corridor, we are looking at the whole of India,” he said at a news conference.

In Bangalore, for example, Secom is starting the first Japanese hospital in the country by April 2014 in a Rs. 154-crore venture between Toyota Tsusho and the Kirloskar group.

Toyota’s subsidiary Toyota Enterprise has tied up with the Hayagreeva group to upgrade the Chancery Hotel as a business hotel focussing on the Japanese. The Chennai-Bangalore Infrastructure Corridor, for which preliminary study has been made, figured in the Union Finance Minister’s Budget speech.