Rome - Italian companies are encouraged to be bold and realize the great investment potential the Japanese market has to offer. This is the message launched on the eve of the Nishinippon Business Forum - Fourth Edition, of which AGI is a media partner. The event, that will take place on Nov. 30 in Fukuoka, will be sponsorsed by the Italian Economic Development Ministry (MISE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan's Ministry of the Economy and the Japan Business Federation. The Forum is organised by Daniele Di Santo, president and founder of the Japan Italy Economic Federation, a body established in 2015 closely collaborating with the local employers' federation. Among JIEF 's current members there are institutions and associations and many key Japanese enterprises and financial groups doing business in Italy and in Japan. JIEF is conceived as a 'think tank' with a view to further developing the ties between Italy and Japan, and acting as a stable observatory on the evolution of the overall balance in Asia, from the point of view of Japanese institutions. Di Santo told Agi that "such balances can influence directly and indirectly all of us and not only those who are interested in investing in an Asian country." Companies planning to do businesses in a such a far-away and diverse context, need some solid points of reference. "This is why the JIEF, besides being a think tank, wishes to leverage on its representation and network of relations to engage in a direct dialogue with these countries' authorities in an effort to support its members," added Di Santo. To the question on the level of interest Italian companies have as to investing in Japan, Di Santo said:" If we talk about major companies, Leonardo-Finmeccanica is a good case in point. It should be sufficient to mention the interest Japanese investors have in our companies, as shown by Hitachi acquiring Ansaldo STS and Ansaldo Breda. However as far as I know, the energy sector is very viable with a flurry of mutual interests. Nothing has been officially announced or settled yet, but things are evolving." There is a large number of Italian SMEs that seem to be quite interested in Japan. "However they need to be bolder, though I understand that coming from a fragmented system such as ours, the Japanese market may seem very demanding since it requires high quality standards which culturally may look very removed from our reality." (AGI).