Among Tohoku’s trading partners, Asia and North America account for 73% of all exports from the region. The main trading partners in Asia are China and South Korea. As for imports, Tohoku’s main trading partner is Asia, which accounts for one-third of all imports to Tohoku, followed by the Middle East and Oceania. In Tohoku, the share of imports from Asia is low and that from Oceania is high compared with the rest of the country. The region is specialised in the electrical machinery and food industry sectors.



Aomori Prefecture

Long-established industries: agriculture, forestry and fisheries, retail trade (food and beverages), manufacturing industries (nonferrous metals, foodstuffs, steel, pulp/paper, and electronic components), tourism-related industries. Growing industries: promotion of low-carbon industries, green date centres, hybrid automobile components, wind farms.

Iwate Prefecture

Long-established industries: food and beverages, agricultural and marine products, automotive industries, transportation machinery, electronic parts and devices, semiconductors, ICT, pharmaceutical industries. Emerging industries: renewable and clean energy industries.

Miyagi Prefecture

Long-established industries: automobile industry, high-tech electronics, ICT, aerospace R&D and manufacture, food-related industries, shipping, lumber, life science/medical equipment. Emerging industries: renewable and clean energy industries.

Akita Prefecture

Long-established industries: food and beverages, manufacturing industries (electronic parts and devices, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, chemical and petroleum products, electronic and transportation machinery, wood processing industries), software industries. Growing industries: renewable energy-related industries, recycling-based industries, medical and pharmaceutical related industries.

Yamagata Prefecture

Long-established and traditional industries: agriculture, forestry and fisheries, manufacturing industries (communication devices, electronic parts, semiconductors), chemical products, ceramics, cast-iron metalwork, knit clothing, carpet making, woodcraft. Growing industries: nanotechnology, organic electro-luminescence industry, ultra-high procession processing technology, machinery processing, biotechnology.

Fukushima Prefecture

Long-established industries: agriculture, forestry and fishery industries; manufacturing industries (transport equipment, semiconductors, medical care devices); traditional art crafts (woodcraft, pottery, textile, washi - Japanese paper). Emerging industries: new energy-related industries.


Further Readings:

  • The NHK made some videos presenting the 47 Prefectures of Japan. They are available here (at the bottom of the page, under "Destinations").
  • Our report "FDI Incentives by Prefecture 2022" will provide you with a concise summary of FDI incentives in Japan organised by prefecture and assist you in determining which of Japan's prefectures are more suitable for your business.



Picture: Aomori Prefecture, countryside
Picture copyright: Wikipedia creative commons