e-News August 2014

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the August 2014 edition of the eubusinessinjapan.eu newsletter. As always, in this month’s issue you will find a complete list of all webpages and expert reports which have been released on www.eubusinessinjapan.eu this month. We hope that this information continues to be of interest to you, and we look forward to your continued participation in this new project!

Kind regards,

The EuBusinessinJapan team.

New Webpages Released in August

This month, we have released 13 webpages. Please click on the links below to access them:

 

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About Foreign Direct Investment

About Foreign Direct Investment

Japan is currently in an exciting phase of transformation. The current Japanese government has announced a series of structural reforms and economic liberalisation measurements aimed at - among other things- encouraging foreign direct investment into Japan. Below you will find a selection of reports which will provide you with further information about FDI opportunities in Japan. These reports have been researched by external experts and by the EU-Japan Centre.

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Joint Ventures

Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are another way for foreign companies or individuals to expand their business operations in Japan and enter the Japanese market. Although there are four types of corporate entities available when establishing a subsidiary, Kabushiki Kaisha (KK, Joint Stock Company) and Godo Kaisha (GK, Limited Liability Company) are the most suitable ones for small and medium enterprises. The main reason is that both the KK and the GK are limited companies, so foreign investors cannot be held personally responsible for the subsidiary’s debts. The other two forms of subsidiary companies are Gomei-Kaisha and Goshi-Kaisha. However, being unlimited partnerships, they are rarely chosen. 

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Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Japan is comparatively low by international standards. In 2012, its contribution to Japan’s GDP was less than 1%. One of the reasons is that, under the Corporation Law, direct mergers in Japan can only be conducted between Japanese companies. However, business opportunities for foreign investors are likely to increase in the future as the Japanese government takes a series of regulatory measures to attract foreign direct investment and improve EU-Japan trade relations. Find out more about mergers and acquisitions here.

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Architecture

Architecture

Since the 1990s and the end of Japan’s bubble economy, Tokyo’s architectural trends followed the new “low-growth” economic paradigm, drifting away from postmodernism towards a different perception of modernity. At the same time, globalisation started to have an impact on architectural restructuring, leading to huge construction projects, such as Roppongi Hills and the Dentsu Building, in stark contrast with the low-growth model. The Heisei period’s architecture (contemporary Japan) is marked by the use of glass as a building material for public and commercial buildings, eradicating the boundary between inside and outside, as well as new technological developments such as bullet-proof glass.

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Design

Design

Japanese design is often rooted in its context, reflecting current societal issues, such as environmental awareness. The result is intricate designs that give equal consideration to consumers and the environment. Japanese consumers are passionate about trends and style and have a permanent interest in new goods. Due to fierce competition, Japanese consumers enjoy high purchasing power and are prioritised by firms over shareholders and employees. Services standards are therefore essential. Higher- and middle-income consumers are more accepting of foreign design than lower-income consumers.

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Electronic Games

Electronic Games

Japan has traditionally been a major hub of the global video games industry, embracing 8% of worldwide console sales in 2012. Japan’s domestic video games market is largely controlled by indigenous giants such as Nintendo and Sony, which together accounted for 98% of console sales in 2012.

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Fashion & Clothing

Fashion & Clothing

Japan remains the world’s third-largest fashion apparel importer after the EU and the US. As one of the leading fashion markets in the world, Japan is also a trendsetter for other countries in Asia. Although spending on clothing has decreased in recent years, consumers do still want to buy quality products, as long as they good prices. Although high-end European fashion is extremely popular in Japan, Japanese consumer buying habits differ significantly to those of consumers in Europe, and it is important to be aware of how conceptions of what is fashionable or trendy differ in Japan.

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Manga & Anime

Manga & Anime

Manga and Anime are perhaps the most recognizable aspects of Japanese culture, and the huge global popularity of both these art forms underline Japan’s status as a hugely influential cultural superpower. Whereas manga and anime have a large cult following around the world, the domestic appeal of manga and anime in Japan is much more mainstream: People of both genders and all ages read manga and watch anime. This page provides with some information on Japan’s domestic and international manga and anime industries.

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Online Education

Online Education

The online education sector in Japan is a promising market due to both the Japanese tendency to embrace technology and the increasing interest in international engagement. Organisations engaged in distance learning are increasingly adapting to target an online audience. Institutions are also taking advantage of the possibilities provided by existing online learning platforms. Online English learning in particular is in demand due to Japanese companies’ increasing need to have English-speaking employees. The online potential for Japanese language instruction has also been recognised by the government as a means of encouraging more foreign engagement with Japan.

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Universities

Universities

Japan is classed as one of the best educated countries in the world. Financial investment in education is a priority for the Japanese Government and average annual expenditure on education services per tertiary student is significantly higher than in other OECD countries. In response to demographic changes and an identified need for engagement in an increasingly globalised world, the government has taken steps to attract foreign students to Japanese institutions. However, this is not without its challenges.

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Advertising

Advertising

Japan is the world’s second-largest advertising market after the US. Advertising expenditure is on the rise in every media type in Japan, from newspapers and magazines to TV, radio and the internet. Advertising expenditure in 2012 amounted to ¥5,891.3 billion, an increase of 3.2% compared with the previous year. However, there are significant differences between Japanese and European advertising practices which must be considered before making an attempt to break in the Japanese advertising market.

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Publishing

Publishing

Altogether, there are some 3,800 publishing companies in Japan (80% of them in Tokyo), which produce together about ¥1.8 trillion-worth of business annually. However, few publishers have their own in-house facilities for printing, binding and sales. This task is generally given separately to specialist printing and bookbinding companies. Wholesale distribution, rather than direct sales to the retail market, is the norm.  In 2010, over 77,000 new titles were published in Japan (or about 213 books each day), with a further 900,000 in print. 3,300 or so magazines were published in the same period, two of which currently have a circulation of 1 million copies or more per issue.

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New Reports Released in August

This month we have released 3 expert reports. Please feel free to consult them now:

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Report: Direct Investment to Japan (Overview of Industry Clusters)

Report: Direct Investment to Japan (Overview of Industry Clusters)

This report aims to help foreign investors make informed investment decisions by highlighting the attractiveness of particular regions in terms of well-developed infrastructure, availability of skilled workers, access to potential subcontractors and customers but also in terms of industry specific regional cluster. By understanding these subtle differences, foreign investors should be better prepared when deciding where to set up their new business in Japan.

 

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Access To Finance

Report: FDI Incentives

In this report, you will find information about the different forms of incentives and subsidies that are in place to attract foreign investors wishing to establish a new business or invest in Japan. After presenting the current political and economic situation in Japan, this report describes the various types of incentives offered by the government and by the prefectural and municipal authorities, who can benefit from these, and how to take advantage of them.

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Report: FDI Incentives by Prefecture

Report: FDI Incentives by Prefecture

This report will provide you with a concise summary of FDI incentives in Japan organised by prefecture. It will assist you in determining which of Japan's prefectures are more suitable for your business. This report was compiled by the EU-Japan Centre by searching through each the websites of local development organisations in each Japanese prefecture. For more details please refer to the region & prefecture page of this website.

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