Doing Business in Japan

As Japan remains the third largest economy in the world, there are a number of advantages for British companies looking to Japan to expand their business. Read on for an overview of the market and the benefits of doing business in Japan.

Export to Japan - Doing Business in Japan

Market Overview   |   Benefits of Doing Business in Japan   |   Market Opportunities

The UK in Japan   |   Tips to Get You Started 


Market Overview

Despite economic issues over the past 20 years, the Japanese market remains vast. Japan is one of the world's largest exporters and one of the largest overseas investors. The amount of personal wealth is high, and personal financial assets are one of the largest asset bases in the world. Japan also ranks 29th in the World Bank's 'Ease of Doing Business' rankings. It is possible to set up a company in 14 days. 

Watch a short video about the recent changes in the Japanese economy due to ‘Abenomics’.


Benefits of Doing Business in Japan

Incentives for British businesses exporting to Japan include:

  • stable place to do business
  • strategic stepping stone for other Asian markets
  • strong political, trade and social ties between the 2 countries
  • highly educated consumers who are early adopters of new products and services
  • large and rich consumer market based in urban areas
  • Tokyo conurbation is the world’s largest at around 35 million

Strengths of the Japanese market include:

  • a huge, open economy
  • a cutting edge business culture
  • an increasingly globalised outlook
  • strong intellectual property (IP) protection
  • hunger for new trends and technologies
  • high levels of disposable income, particularly older people and young singles living with their parents

Market Opportunities

British companies are succeeding across a wide range of sectors, including; manufacturing, consumer goods, high tech, and services.

There has also been a recent influx of new companies in the life sciences and energy sectors.

The top areas for opportunity cover 5 main themes:

  • Shift towards low carbon
  • Globalising business environment
  • High-spending consumers
  • Ageing society
  • Global sporting events

The UK in Japan

The UK’s biggest visible exports to Japan are chemicals, including medical and pharmaceutical products, and machinery and transportation equipment, including power generation equipment and vehicles.

Other successful sectors include: scientific equipment, food and drink, transport, including shipping and tourism, media, including TV, film and publishing

Financial services are the UK’s largest export of services to Japan. Transportation and insurance are also significant, with a combined value of £1 billion. Other business services include legal, accounting, advertising and R&D.


Tips to Get You Started

If you are planning your first business trip to Japan, ensure that it is as stress-free as possible by taking a look at our Travel Essentials guide. 

Proper business etiquette is key to success in doing business in Japan. Learn more in our guide to Business Etiquette

When you are confident of your market potential in Japan, you will want to find out the best way of getting to market. Our Routes to Market guide covers the general information you will need to consider when you plan your market entry strategy.

In our Setting up a Business section you will find an introduction to the four ways to set up your own entity here in Japan.


Contact one of our Market Experts today to understand your company's potential in this huge and lucrative market.