Focus on Japan

Focus On Japan

Despite having the third largest economy in the world, in August Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a new $45 billion stimulus to boost the nation’s struggling economy.

The move marks a return to the basics of the prime minister’s ‘Abenomics’ programme, the economic policies laid out by Abe in the 2012 general election and which was supposed to combine monetary and fiscal stimulus as the country contends with poor consumption and export growth impacted by a stronger yen.

And after four years of this stimulus, the economy remains only 2.2% bigger in real terms than when Abe first entered office with the promise of massive structural reforms.

With limited natural resources, Japan is dependent on imports such as oil and gas, food, and raw materials for industrial production. As a result of the 2011 tsunami disaster, all of Japan’s nuclear reactors were closed (some resumed operation in 2015), meaning there was a sharp increase in dependency on energy imports.

Despite their economic issues over the past two decades, Japan’s market remains broad, and the nation continues to be one of the world’s largest exporters; it is the UK’s largest export market after Europe, the USA, and China, and one of the leading inward investors in the UK.

There are many exciting opportunities for Western brands exporting to Japan, driven by huge consumer demand for the products and services that are offered by this area of the world.

The Department for International Trade state that the UK’s biggest visible exports are machinery and mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, and power generation equipment, alongside chemicals including medical and pharmaceutical products.

DIT also list other successful sectors as being:
• Scientific and medical equipment
• Precious stones and metals
• Food and drink
• Clothing accessories, cosmetics, and perfumery
• Transport including shipping, aircraft, and spacecraft
• TV, film, and publishing