Discussions are underway in the Japanese city of Kochi to enter the Metaverse space, with city authorities signing a deal with Start Lands, a company from the Philippines. on February 7, the city government signed an agreement with metaverse project company Start Land, Kochi News and CoinPost reported. According to the sites, the “virtual Kochi” will likely be online in the summer of 2024.
Start Lands was founded by Japanese software developer KOUSEI. In Start Land’s “virtual space,” Internet users are expected to “use free avatars to enjoy shopping.” Kochi officials said they have “signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement ” to “promote regional revitalization using digital technology.”
Kochi spokesmen said they are confident the project will help them “expand sales channels for local specialties.” They added that the campaign would “attract tourists and encourage people to move to [Kochi]” and help the city. The city said it is also considering implementing a meta-world in education and social welfare.
The company said the Feb. 7 ceremony “was also held simultaneously in the meta-world space,” and avatars of KOUSEI and Kochi Mayor Ryugo Kuwana are ready. Start Land says it has about 20,000 users in Japan and around the world. The company is also releasing NFT.
Kochi on the Japanese island of Sikoku is the largest city and capital of the prefecture. The prefecture is known for its mountains, rivers and beaches, and most of it is rural. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has supported the web3 and metaverse industries. In a speech to British investors in 2022, Kishida described these sectors as growth engines for the economy. In 2021, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, unveiled plans to launch comprehensive services offered by the Metaverse platform.