Japan is one of the largest producers of plastics in the world. With production at 11.02 million tons and total shipments at 13 trillion yen, the plastics industry takes up a significant share in the manufacturing landscape of Japan. The most produced goods were plastic films and sheets, followed by containers and parts for machine tools. Japan also produces a large share of the global plastic waste. The Chinese and Southeast Asian bans on plastic waste imports have shifted Japan’s strategy towards the development of environmentally sustainable alternatives to generic plastics and the renewed focus on developing high-grade materials for machinery applications.
In the global polymer market, Japan is a leading rubber and carbon fibre manufacturer. Rubber is an essential material for Japan’s automotive industry, used for its tyre production, one of the top products exported worldwide. Regarding carbon fibre, mainly in the lightweight market, industries such as aerospace, automotive, building and civil engineering, electronics, sports, etc. are the ones where Japan has kept its place as a world leader producer, accounting for 70% of the global production, and manufacturer in terms of quality and quantity.