Business opportunities in Japan

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21 of December, 2016
Daisaku Yukita (Deputy Director General, JETRO London)

There is no better time to be looking to expand your business in Japan. The spotlight has been shining on Japan thanks to some positive changes such as re-evaluation of the Japanese market and expanded business opportunities as well as the government’s effort for attracting foreign investments in Japan.

Allures of Japan;

For foreign companies, the greatest appeal in doing business in Japan has been its “huge sophisticated market” with consumers and clients demanding high quality products and services.  Japan is now being recognised as a “trend setter” in the sense that success in Japan leads to success in Asian and global markets. Japan also has a great appeal as an innovation hub. In addition to “Made in Japan”, we are seeing the idea of “Developed in Japan”.

Japan enjoys its stable and convenient business infrastructure and Japan’s business environment is regarded as the most sophisticated in the world. No one doubts that Japan provides a safe and comfortable community infrastructure. International companies praise Japan’s security, hospitality, beautiful nature and delicious & healthy cuisine.

Structural Reforms;

The improvement of several economic indices shows that Abenomics, the economic policy of Prime Minister Abe, has proven to be a game-changer. The government of Japan is trying to make Japan the most business-friendly country in the world.

Corporate tax reduction, strengthening of corporate governance and other measures to improve the business environment, and regulatory reforms in pharmaceutical, medical equipment, energy and other fields are consistently expanding business opportunities in Japan.

The negotiation on the EPA between EU and Japan is expected to be concluded and Japan has the potential to become a node of multiple economic integration areas.

Key figures; 

“High business cost” used to be the biggest obstacle in Japan, but foreign business executives claimed these days that it is no longer a big problem. In addition to business costs coming down in comparison with other large cities in Asia, Japan’s reputation as a product development and R & D centre is also rising through collaboration with Japanese companies and research institutions in recognition of the research and technology capabilities and reliable IPR protection in the country.

The government of Japan outlined its target of increasing inward foreign direct investment stock to 35 trillion yen by 2020, and reached 24.4 trillion yen renewing the historical high at the end of 2015.

Japan is becoming a popular destination for tourists as well. The number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2015 reached an all-time high.

Aside from these figures, Tokyo’s successful bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 means that there are more opportunities than ever for companies across all sectors.

What JETRO can offer

The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is a Japanese government agency which is working with Finnish companies to assist them in entering the Japanese market. Finland is covered from the London office where consultancy services are offered free of charge. For companies who are considering setting up a base across Japan, JETRO is offering market information, free temporary office space as well as consultations with experts who can make the setting up process as quick and smooth as possible.

We firmly believe that now is a very exciting time to be considering the Japanese market. Through our free support services, Finnish companies can expect to smoothly set up in the market quickly, and have all of the information on hand to make it a successful venture.

Daisaku Yukita (Deputy Director General, JETRO London)