Trade and commerce are the international activities that many Japanese SNGs facilitate most vigorously, both independently of central authorities and in conjunction with them. This chapter explores Japanese SNGs as international economic actors in their own right, operating independently or in conjunction with actors from the central government and the corporate sector. It begins with examining why SNGs have taken on this role, recognizing developments that have induced less restrictive economic regimes inside and outside Japan and have oriented SNGs to pursue overseas economic opportunities in this freer market environment to maximize the interests of their locality. Post-Cold War conditions have dramatically shifted the strategic, political and economic ground on which SNGs act, within and increasingly outside Japan.