Japan has one of the world’s fastest growing elderly populations, driving growth in the huge Life Sciences market. In 2010, almost a quarter of Japan’s 127 million people were over 65. And this is predicted to increase to over 30% by 2025 and to 40% by 2055. Japanese society is therefore facing an increasing number of chronic and long-term diseases. After the US, Japan has the second largest healthcare, pharmaceutical and medical devices markets in the world. Total medical expenditure is over GBP 250 billion a year and the Japanese pharmaceutical market is bigger than both France and Germany's combined.
For the healthcare market, unique, sophisticated, and highly technical products are sought to assist elderly people, ranging from healthy elderly people to those with disabilities. For the medical devices market, opportunities exist with advanced and innovative products for exports of finished products, joint R&D and technology licensing-out. In pharmaceuticals, the demand for joint development, outsourcing of R&D, clinical trials and regulatory affairs to Europe continues to increase. For more see the Department for International Trade's Introduction to Healthcare & Medical Devices in Japan and Introduction to Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals in Japan.