367. The delegation of Japan would like to thank the delegation of Canada, United States of America, and all Members for preparing our concept paper. As stated in the concept paper, document IP/C/W/686, for innovation-based businesses on the smaller end of the MSME spectrum, and likely for IP and/or innovation-based MSMEs in least-developed country Members in particular, "conventional" financing might present challenges. As also indicated, lack of financing appears to be an obstacle to innovation by MSMEs. IP valuation issues might represent a challenge in innovative or IP- based MSMEs' access to "conventional" credit. Taking this opportunity, the delegation of Japan would like to briefly introduce our national experiences regarding this agenda item, "IP, Innovation and Microfinancing". 368. With the globalization of the world's economy and the rapid advancement of computer networks, the source of corporate value, no matter how large or small, has shifted from tangible assets such as factories and machinery to intangible assets such as technologies, designs, and brands. In order for financial institutions to understand intangible assets, especially intellectual property, it is essential that they be able to properly evaluate the business potential of their clients based on the potential of IP. If technologies are properly evaluated and the potential of new IP leads to greater financing, it can lower the high bar for MSMEs in terms of raising funds needed to develop new products and launch new businesses. 369. Against this background, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) formed the IP finance promotion project, which offers support to financial institutions by helping them focus on the potential of their clients' IP and enable them to provide business and management support. In this project, two kinds of reports are provided to financial institutions. "IP business valuation reports" and "IP business proposal reports". The former evaluates the IP-based businesses of SMEs. The latter includes strategies on and solutions for management issues. Under this programme, IP experts are sent to financial institutions so that they can understand SMEs' businesses and create growth support scheme within financial institution based on an IP-based perspective. 370. The accelerated-examination system can lead to obtain financial support as soon as possible also in the context of microfinance. The JPO offers accelerated examination under certain conditions, and start-ups and SMEs are also eligible for this system. Furthermore, as a means to support start- up companies' applications during patent examination, the JPO has implemented two programmes namely "Accelerated Examination Using Interviews for start-ups" and "Super Accelerated Examination". The first programme includes interview examinations that are conducted prior to the first actions of examination results. The second programme, super accelerated examination, provides first actions within one month from the request in principle. These two programmes meet the needs of start-ups in terms of their obtaining patent rights much sooner. 371. Japan would like to continue to support the activities of financial institutions and companies through implementing various initiatives and programmes. The delegation of Japan also looks forward to sharing experiences with other Members.