Japan’s tech market, with sophisticated wealthy consumers aiming for everything innovative, tech, and disruptive, provides ample opportunities for exporters, foreign companies, and investors. Consider the sectoral opportunities in the country.
Japan is a cutting-edge market for the latest technology. The headquarters of world-renowned technology companies are located here. Startup culture has emerged in Japan’s tech world. Openness to innovation and cooperation will help foreign companies to become successful in this market.
In addition, the country is promoting the Society 5.0 initiative, aimed at integrating advanced technologies into society to solve many social problems. In particular, the most popular is the direction to address the issues of population aging, social polarization, depopulation, as well as restrictions related to energy and the environment. For this, developments in digital technologies are used: artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of things, and big data analytics.
For exporters and foreign companies, opportunities exist in innovation, the Internet of Things, biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, fintech, and cybersecurity. Especially in the country, digital technologies are in demand to combat money laundering in financial institutions.
Japan is a country with a low level of natural resources, so ensuring long-term energy supplies is a priority. There is a demand for renewable energy sources. The country will also be in demand of consultants and experts in the field of renewable energy sources, smart energy management technologies, and low-carbon energy production.
After a major accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the country began planning the decommissioning of existing nuclear power plants. Therefore, it will require specialists and companies with such practice and knowledge.
Japan has taken a course towards the development of innovative technologies in the field of medicine, especially in the direction of regenerative medicine and advanced therapy. Japanese law does not prohibit foreign companies from entering the local pharmaceutical market, which, incidentally, is the second-largest in the world. All foreign-made products must comply with pharmaceutical legislation.
To improve governance in healthcare, there is growing interest in the use of digital technologies. Key areas include technologies for the diagnosis of early cancer and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. There are good opportunities here for foreign investors willing to cooperate in R&D in medicine, pharmaceuticals, mobile technologies, and ICT.
Japan is considered the most advanced country in the development and implementation of robots in everyday life. Robots are divided into industrial zones, which are involved in the production process, and service ones, which are used for transportation, cleaning, infrastructure, social security, etc.
It should be noted that the Japanese market ranks 1st in terms of the number of robots used in industry. Japan accounts for half of the world’s robot shipments.
The demand for service robots is currently expected to grow. By 2035, an increase in demand is projected at 13.9%. It is worth noting that the country ranks 4th in the world in the production of service robots.
Two Proven Ways to Enter the Japanese Market
# 1: build a good reputation for yourself.
According to Ikuo Ogawa (leading expert of a consulting company), for a foreign company to gain a foothold in the Japanese market, it must already have some kind of international reputation. This means that the company’s services should already be heard. That is why Instagram or Trello so quickly found the target audience among the Japanese: startups were already known and expected. After all, the Japanese are very interested in various new products, including foreign ones. And if they begin to actively talk about them in the media, then this immediately attracts the attention of the inhabitants of the island.
# 2: find a partner in Japan.
Partner will help you find the right audience or advise where to place your first office. But finding partners is not so simple. First, as already mentioned, Japanese companies do not tend to quickly make decisions about cooperation with new partners. And second, because of the differences between the Japanese market and the European (American, any other), the choice of a business partner must be approached very carefully. Because if a startup hastily signs a contract with a Japanese corporation, and then it turns out that they are not suitable for each other, breaking this legal relationship will be several times more difficult than spending more time looking for the right partner.