Foreign Chambers in Japan – Business Confidence survey fall 2017

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) is an informal organization comprised of foreign chambers of commerce and business groups in Japan mainly for the purpose of information exchange and enhancement of the activities of the component organizations.

The FCIJ conducted the first Business Confidence survey in April 2002, based on a format developed by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ). This survey, conducted twice a year, is rapidly becoming a barometer of foreign business in Japan.

This, the 32nd, survey was conducted between October 18 and 27, 2017, and received 243 valid responses from members of 17 foreign chambers of commerce in Japan.

Participating organizations included the ACCJ (American Chamber), ANZCCJ (Australian and New Zealand), BCCJ (British), BLCCJ (Belgian-Luxembourg), CCBJ (Brazilian), CCCJ (Canadian), Czech (CCCIJ), FCCJ (Finnish), CCIFJ (French), DIHKJ (German), GrCCJ (Greece). IJCC (Irish), ICCJ (Italian), SACCJ (South African), SpCCJ (Spanish) SCCJ (Swedish) and SCCIJ (Swiss Chamber).

The healthy growth that started in the Fall 2016 survey continued in this survey and shows further improved sentiments compared to the previous survey conducted in April 2017. The respondents remain positive about the Japanese economy, for the next 6 months it is expected to continue to grow – the index, on a scale from +2 (strong improvement) to -2 (strong decline) – was now +0.67, compared to +0.40 in April. Looking 12 months ahead, the respondents see an even increased improvement in the economy than forecasted in the previous survey. The index was now +0.73, compared to +0.55 in the previous survey.

The stronger growth in the economy was also reflected in the performance of the companies. The index for reported sales performance in the past six months was now +0.77 compared to +0.70 the previous survey, although the profitability growth decreased slightly, now +0.61 now compared to +0.66 in October.

In the sales forecast for the coming six months the respondents were also more optimistic than in April, the index was now +0.93, the highest index since April 2007 (previous survey +0.87). The forecast for profitability also grew marginally more than in the April survey, from +0.77 to +0.78.

The optimism reflected in the company performance data also clearly show that the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be bullish. 81% (77% in the April survey) are looking for further growth and 16% are expecting to sustain their current level. Only 2% is planning to downsize and only one of the respondents are considering withdrawing from Japan.

This time the survey included two alternating questions. The first was on how the business climate would be affected by the planned changes in inheritance and gift tax laws. 75% reported that it would have no impact while 19% thought it would have some negative and 7% strong negative impact. Many respondents commented that they were not familiar with the implications of the new law.

The second alternating question was regarding BREXIT for Europeans and TPP11 and NAFTA for the others. As for BREXIT, a large majority (60%) thinks it is bad both for Britain and the EU. In addition, 34% think it is bad for Britain but good for EU. Regarding TPP11, 41% thought it would have a positive impact, 48% none. NAFTA changes would not have much impact in Japan, 19% expected negative, 75% thought that the changes/negotiations would not impact their business.

This time we also had an open question regarding the biggest challenges in the Japanese market. The by far the most cited challenge was labor issues, mainly hiring, and retaining good staff.

To download the full report, click: http://www.fcc.or.jp/fcij/pdf/fcij_survey172.pdf


Japanin markkinat avautuvat suomalaisille yrityksille

Lehdistötiedotteet, 6.7.2017

EU ja Japani pääsivät poliittisella tasolla yhteisymmärrykseen kauppasopimuksesta 6.7.2017. Työ jatkuu muun muassa investointien osalta. Sopimus on EU:lle merkittävä saavutus, sillä Japani on maailman suurimpia kuluttajamarkkinoita ja Kiinan jälkeen EU:n toiseksi suurin kauppakumppani Aasiassa.

EU:n ja Japanin välinen sopimus helpottaa myös suomalaisten yritysten vientiä laskemalla tulleja Suomelle keskeisissä tuotteissa ja poistamalla tarpeettomia kaupan esteitä.

”Tuleva sopimus on erittäin tervetullut, sillä se poistaa tulleja muuan muassa metsäteollisuuden tuotteilta ja parantaa suomalaisten elintarvikkeiden mahdollisuuksia päästä Japanin markkinoille”, sanoo ulkomaankauppa- ja kehitysministeri Kai Mykkänen.

Neuvottelujen kuluessa on jo kiinnitetty huomiota erilaisten kaupan esteiden vähentämiseen.

”Japani on jo helpottanut terveysteknologiatuotteiden lupamenettelyitä, mikä on hyvä uutinen suomalaisille teknologiayrityksille”, toteaa ministeri Mykkänen.

Yritykset pääsevät hyödyntämään sopimusta sen jälkeen, kun se on hyväksytty sekä EU:ssa että Japanissa.

Japani on Kiinan jälkeen Suomen suurin kauppakumppani Aasiassa. Suomen tavarakaupan viennin arvo viime vuonna oli reilut miljardi euroa, ja tuonnin arvo 673 miljoonaa euroa. Palvelukaupan viennin arvo oli puolestaan noin 421 miljoonaa euroa vuonna 2015, ja tuonnin arvo 77 miljoonaa euroa.

Lisätietoja: ministeri Mykkäsen diplomaattiavustaja Marja Koskela, puh. 040 352 0463 ja yksikönpäällikkö Marjut Akola, markkinoillepääsy-yksikkö, puh. 0295 351 105.


Team Finland Japan Day 15.5.2017

Team Finland Japan Day was organized on May 15th 2017 in Helsinki.

Event materials, presentation slides and video, can be found: http://event.finpro.fi/japanday/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=

Japan Day was organized JETRO and Finpro in co-operation with the following partners:
Finnish-Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Embassy of Finland in Japan
Embassy of Japan in Finland
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland
Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation


Business opportunities in Japan


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)


Ambassador Siukosaari presenting his credentials to His Majesty the Emperor

Embassy of Finland in Tokyo
News 21.9.2016

Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari attended the Ceremony of the Presentation of Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Finland to Japan on September 20. Even the drizzling rain did not dampen the festive occasion, as 6 diplomats accompanied the Ambassador to the Imperial Palace in elegant burgundy horse carriages with golden wheels. “The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, riding to the Palace in a horse carriage built more than 100 years ago just for Ambassadors,” said Ambassador Siukosaari. “The Palace itself, with its simplicity and humbleness, left a strong impression on me.”

Japan’s long tradition and immense history have been sources of admiration for Ambassador Siukosaari. “Japan has always been my dream destination,” he says, now setting foot as a diplomat on his 4th continent and 6th country at the age of 50. His previous post was in South America, as Ambassador of Finland to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Japan is his first Asian country, and he eagerly welcomes the new change.

Ambassador Siukosaari has firm grounds to start on, with the image of Finland exceptionally good in Japan. The impressions the Japanese have of Finland and the Finns- be it the Moomins, design, education, start-up culture, childcare services- all are positive. “I would like to use this positive image to expand new areas, to increase new business contacts and promote investment and trade in both ways, and not just one-way,” he says. Businesses he has in mind are as tourism, food industry and Arctic cooperation, as Finland prepares to be the Chairman of the Arctic Council in 2017. These conform to the joint statement of strategic partnership issued by President Niinistö and Prime Minister Abe this March, which referred to closer cooperation in the areas of the economy, science and technology. Mutual co-operation will be important as Finland and Japan together approach the upcoming 100th Anniversary of diplomatic relationship in 2019.

Read the full article: http://www.finland.or.jp/public/default.aspx?contentid=351786&nodeid=41206&contentlan=2&culture=en-US