e-News September 2014

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the September 2014 edition of the eubusinessinjapan.eu e-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. In addition, you will find in this month's issue a press review of interesting Japan-related articles, and a case study featuring an EU SME's experiences on the Japanese market! We hope that this information continues to be of interest to you, and we look forward to your continued participation in this project.

Kind regards,

The EuBusinessinJapan team.

New Webpages Released in September:

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

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Human Resources

Human Resources

In order to succeed in Japan you must have a thorough knowledge of Japanese human resources procedures, especially regarding wages, working hours, resignation, and the management of labour-related disputes when starting a business and hiring staff.

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Food Regulation

Food Regulation

When exporting food products, the exporter should be aware of importation procedures, laws and administrative forms, in order to ease this process. The Japanese authorities have developed many regulations concerning various aspects of food exportation (such as packaging and containers, food additives, biotech events, pesticides and other contaminants etc.) which must be complied with.

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Recycling

Recycling

Japanese recycling policy is largely administered at the municipal level, and Japanese local government often possesses the latest in recycling technology. Japanese waste differs significantly from European waste. Some recycling companies use a “holistic method”, integrating the disposal of large electronics and white goods into their factory production line, partially in order to remove superficial features and reduce inputs.

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Alcohol

Alcohol

Europe is the foremost exporter of liquor and wine worldwide, and the Japanese liquor market is one of the biggest in the world with annual sales estimated at over 6 trillion yen.  However, imports of foreign alcohol comprise a mere 6% of the total Japanese liquor market, include beer and beer-like products. Alcohol in Japan is influenced by a number of social and economic factors. One factor is the resurgence in popularity of traditional alcohol and another is the fact that Japan is characterised by geographical differences in the type of beverages consumed.

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Cereals

Cereals

Japan is both one of the world’s most technologically advanced nations and also a small-scale agricultural producer, making it a major importer of wheat and other cereals. The Japanese grain processing sector, especially its feed sector, was hit hard by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, but recovery efforts have been highly successful.

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Confectionery

Confectionery

Despite weak economic growth, Japan still possesses the largest and most mature confectionary market in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, demand for sugar confectionary is expected to grow rapidly between 2012-2017, helped by increased competition between pharmaceutical companies as well as ordinary companies selling more traditional Japanese confectionary.

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Dairy

Dairy

Japan’s dairy food sector is expected to go against the otherwise downward consumer spending trend in Japan, with strong growth predicted until at least 2017. The dairy sector is the third largest in Japanese industry and will observe the fifth largest increase in the same period. The Japanese are developing a strong appetite for dairy products such as milk cheese and butter, items which do not feature in traditional Japanese cuisine and diets, making it an ideal sector for European SME investment.

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Functional & Health Foods

Functional & Health Foods

Japan has one of the largest health food markets in the world, and also has the market with the strictest regulations. In an ageing market, health food is especially important in the minds of consumers and it can therefore be difficult to gain accreditation, or to make certain claims about foods. It may be necessary to partner with an organisation with laboratory facilities in order to meet the requirements, should you wish to make health benefit claims in the Japanese market.

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Processed & Frozen Foods

Processed & Frozen Foods

The Japanese processed food market has traditionally been regarded as difficult to enter. However the growing popularity of convenient and economical ready-to-eat meals which has opened up the market to foreign investors is being brought about by a combination of factors which have all helped to fuel growth in Japan’s processed food market as an alternative to traditional home-cooked meals.

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Meat

Meat

According to trade reports by the Japanese Ministry of Finance, the market condition of imported meat is 46,000t for beef, 61,000t for pork and 45,000t for chicken. While the volume of imported pork is decreasing, beef and chicken are gaining popularity.

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Soft Drinks

Soft Drinks

The current mood of optimism in Japan which is a result of the proactive economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to have a positive effect on the soft drinks market in Japan. With predicted compound annual growth rates of 3.5% for the period 2012-17, the future of the Japanese soft drinks industry looks bright.

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Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine

The definition of alternative medicine varies greatly from country to country, and this is particularly the case when comparing Japanese and Western definitions. This section shall provide you with a brief overview of the Japanese alternative medicine market.

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Healthcare Equipment

While Japan’s medical equipment market has inevitably been damaged as a result of the 2011 tsunami, it remains an important market and a lucrative investment opportunity. Japan encompasses 10% of the global market, totalling €28.24 billion at the end of 2010. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan ranks as the third largest medical device market after the United States and the European Union.

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New Reports Released in September:

This month we have released 3 expert reports, each of which covers in detail an exciting and important aspect of the Japanese market. Please click on the following links to access them:

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Report: Water Treatment

Report: Water Treatment

This report provides an overview of the current state of the Japanese water technology industry. The report finds that the Japanese water technology sector is very diverse in character, ranging from advanced civil engineering and water treatment technologies and strategies to consultancy services in the field of water technology. The report demonstrates that Japan’s water treatment industry is among the most advanced in the world, and that it is actively encouraging the water treatment business sector internationally.

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Report: Robotic Surgery, Telemedicine & Exporting medical devices to Japan

Report: Robotic Surgery, Telemedicine & Exporting medical devices to Japan

This report studies the Japanese robotic surgery, telemedicine and medical devices markets. It begins by assessing the legal framework of the medical sector in Japan, going over the laws, regulating bodies and other issues governing Japan’s medical device market. Then, the report focusses on Japan’s robotic surgery and telemedicine sectors, explaining the evolution of these sectors in Japan, how these services are marketed in Japan as well as how private sector companies have responded to these developments. Finally, the report offers information on the various legal procedures and steps which must be taken in order to be granted entry into Japan’s medical device market.   This report was released by the EU-Japan Centre in December 2011.

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Report: Human Resources Finding the Right Executives

Report: Human Resources Finding the Right Executives

This report will guide European companies through the recruitment and selection process of their executives in Japan. It will highlight the main cross-cultural issues and Japanese business standards for each of the following points; creating a job profile, the search process, the interview process, the negotiation phase and compensation and benefits.

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Case Study: Food & Beverage - Debailleul

Case Study: Food & Beverage - Debailleul     

Debailleul is a chocolaterie and patisserie founded by a French patissier in Brussels. The company aims to appeal to all senses, creating high-quality products with a unique visual identity. Its managing director joined the EU Japan Centre’s course on Distribution and Business Practices (DBP) in 2007. With the tagline ‘business strategy for customer satisfaction in Japan: creation of added value in retailing and marketing’, this 1-week training consisted of company visits and lectures on the Japanese retail market, economy, marketing, etc.

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Publishing

Press Review: September 2014

In this section you will find a digest of some of the most interesting Japan-related articles which we have found on the internet in the last month. These online articles which have appears on a variety of English-language Japanese news sites over the past month cover a wide variety of Japanese business-related topics. These articles are also being tweeted via the EU-Japan Centre's official twitter account. Please follow us on twitter to receive regular updates!

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