Special Focus: Entry Strategy

Knowing the specifics of the Japanese market is vital for any project to succeed. This month in “Special Focus”, we focus on the Entry Strategy. Information on the related sub-topics, latest reports, and past webinars on this topic are available on the following links. 


There are many reasons for wishing to establish or expand your business in Japan. According to the most recent report by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan has consistently retained its place as one of the most attractive and dynamic business hubs in the world. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, with the output of many of its regions comparable to the GDP of leading EU economies. To read more, please click on the link below: 

About Starting a Business in Japan

Government – or Public - Procurement is another way of entering the Japanese market.  With an estimated 550 billion euros, Japanese public procurement - supplying goods and services to government organisations – largely remains an untapped market for European companies, in particular SMEs, despite of the fact that the Japanese government provides different types of tendering that may be interesting to European companies. To find out more, please see below: 

Public Procurement

E-Business is almost an indispensable requirement in Japan, and is commonly perceived as an “easy” way to enter the Japanese market. However, there are many things which must be taken into consideration when creating a website for the Japanese consumer. Be sure that you can provide answers to the following questions before launching your Japanese-language website: What does my target market look like? How should I change my website to fit Japanese expectations? What payment methods should I consider for my future clients? For further reading, please click below: 

Selling Through e-Business

If establishing a local office in Japan does not seem like the right solution, it might be wise to use an intermediary. But the choice of such an intermediary should be made with caution, as there are vast differences between the different types of partners you might find. To read more, please see below: 

Selling Through Intermediaries


The report titled "How to open a representative office in Japan: Practical step-by-step guidelines for EU-based SMEs" gives comprehensive and practical step-by-step guidelines for European SMEs that are considering how to invest and open a representative office in Japan. The Report outlines the strategic context for making such investment decisions, detailing reasons why – and why not – EU-based SMEs should consider entering Japanese markets in this way. The report highlights investment opportunities in the regions surrounding the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama (Kantō region) in the East of Japan and the cities of Osaka and Kobe (Kansai region) in the West. For practical illustration, the report details key legal, financial, personnel and strategic networking factors that European SMEs need to take into account when considering investing towards opening a representative office in Japan. To access the report, please click below:

Report: How to open a representative office in Japan

The report “All about Starting a Business in Japan: Updates of Laws & Deregulations for New Business Opportunities” examines the new Japanese legislatives requirements that EU SMEs should know when starting a venture in Japan. This report discusses the revision of the Companies act of Japan and takes a close look at the important points that can impact the establishment of a company in Japan. It then elaborates on the case of representative office in Japan and gives concrete advice about taxation and legislative status of representatives in Japan. Moreover, the report presents the different requirements for visa applications. For further reading, please click below: 

Report: All about Starting a Business in Japan Version 2018

The report “Financing sources for EU SMEs in Japan” examines the possibilities of financing coming from many sources of potential support. This report discusses traditional private sector sources of finance that are likely available for EU SMEs which are already established in Japan. It then highlights potential sources of financial support for investment into Japan from public and government sectors. Moreover, this report takes a look to potential sources of investment capital from private sector sources and focuses on ‘non-traditional’ sources of financial support. To read more, please click below:

Report: Financing Sources for EU SMEs in Japan

Japan is the fourth largest ecommerce market behind China, the United States and the United Kingdom. With Internet penetration estimated at 92% of the population, Japan represents a significant market opportunity. The report "Market Entry to Japan Via ECommerce" is meant to be a “how-to guide” that provides overseas ecommerce merchants with a detailed overview of the Japanese market. It presents the main players of the ecommerce market in Japan, and take a close look at useful contacts. In addition, this report provides information about operating costs and discusses the basic requirements to sell online in Japan. 

Report: Market Entry to Japan Via Ecommerce

The report “The Japanese Startup Ecosystem: Opportunities for EU Collaboration” gives an overview of the startup environment in Japan. By defining the characteristics of the Japanese startup ecosystem, this report identifies the opportunities for European entrepreneurs and organisations interested in what the Japanese startup sector has to offer. Furthermore, this report discusses the funding opportunities and available resources for entrepreneurs as well as the different aspects of internationalisation. For further reading, please see below

 Report: The Japanese Startup Ecosystem - Opportunities for EU Collaboration

The report "Tokyo 2020: Identifying Japan Market Entry and Partnership Opportunities for EU-Based Technology SMEs" aims to compose a practical Japan entry guide for European SMEs in order to successfully identify and take advantage of business opportunities within the technology sector leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The report provides an overview of the Japanese market as a whole, and explains how overseas applicants should navigate it or consider alternative entry routes. Furthermore, through different interviews conducted with Japanese and European technology professionals who have experience of partnerships in the Japanese market, the report offers a deep understanding of the elements necessary to build a successful partnership with a Japanese company. To find our more, please clik on the following link: 

Report: Tokyo 2020 Games - Identifying Japan Market Entry and Partnership Opportunities for EU SMEs

Upcoming Webinars:

Webinar #138: Cross Cultural Issues: Following up on a business trip to Japan: being remembered
Date: 14 May 2019 - Time: from 10:00 to 11:00 AM CET
Registration deadline: Monday, 13 May 2019
The webinar is targeted to EU companies seeking to do business in Japan and wishing to be recognised as companies that Japanese business people might look forward to ‘doing business with. For more information and to register, please click below: 

Cross Cultural Issues: Following up on a business trip to Japan: being remembered

Webinar #139: Cross Cultural Issues: Hosting a Japanese business delegation: planning for success
Date: 28 May 2019 - Time: from 10:00 to 11:00 AM CET
Registration deadline: Monday, 27 May 2019
The webinar is targeted to EU companies seeking to do business in Japan and wishing to know how they should prepare effectively towards making both a positive and a positively lasting impression when hosting delegations of business people from Japan.

Cross Cultural Issues: Hosting a Japanese business delegation: planning for success