Japan

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
July 5, 2016

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Executive SummaryShare    

Japan is the world's third largest economy, the United States' fourth largest trading partner, and is an important destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, elected by wide margins in December 2012 and again in December 2014 on a platform of economic recovery and revitalization, is pursuing an ambitious program of aggressive monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy, and a structural reform-focused “growth strategy” intended to put Japan’s economy on a path of sustainable growth after nearly two decades of deflation and slow growth.

The Government of Japan's growth strategy includes numerous measures intended to promote inward FDI. The Prime Minister announced in June 2013 the goal of doubling Japan’s inward FDI stock to 35 trillion yen by 2020 (exchange rate is approximately 109 JPY to USD as of the date of this publication), and reiterated this commitment in the revised strategy issued in June 2015. The focus on FDI promotion is encouraging, although Japan has the lowest ratio of inward FDI as a proportion of GDP of all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries, something the Abe administration is working to change. At the end of 2014, the inward FDI stock was JPY 23.34 trillion, exceeding JPY 20 trillion for the first time. For the third consecutive year, the inflow of direct investment in Japan in 2014 exceeded the outflow. Despite this, Japan's stock of FDI, as a percentage of GDP, stood at 4 percent at the end of 2014, compared with 34 percent on average for all OECD member countries.

Japan is confronting the demographic realities of a low birthrate and an aging and shrinking workforce. In response, the Japanese government is pursuing policies to keep older workers in the labor force; broaden employment options and job retention for women, especially working mothers; and attract more skilled labor from abroad under fixed-term labor contracts.

Japan officially welcomes foreign investment and has eliminated most formal restrictions governing FDI. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) assist foreign firms wishing to invest under the aegis of the cabinet coordinated InvestJapan program and many prefectural and city governments have active programs to attract foreign investors. A number of factors make Japan a potentially attractive investment destination. Japan remains a large, wealthy, and sophisticated market with world class corporations, research facilities, and technologies. Risks associated with investment in many other countries, such as expropriation and nationalization, are not a concern. Japan has an independent judiciary, consistently applied commercial law, and strong intellectual property protections. In recent years, the government has lowered capital gains, registration, and license taxes on real estate, and has reduced gift taxes. In April 2015, the Diet passed legislation cutting the corporate tax rate. Nearly all foreign exchange transactions, including transfers of profits, dividends, royalties, repatriation of capital, and repayment of principal, are freely permitted.

On the other hand, foreign investors in the Japanese market continue to face numerous challenges, many of which relate more to prevailing social practice rather than government regulations. These include still relatively high tax rates, including social security taxes; constraints on labor mobility, an insular and consensual business culture less open to mergers and acquisitions (M&A); a lack of independent directors on many company boards (although this is changing); and cultural and linguistic barriers. However, the current government is pursuing initiatives intended to address each of these challenges, and hopes these policies will contribute to an increasingly open and investor-friendly business environment.

Table 1

Measure

Year

Index or Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions index

2015

18 of 168

transparency.org/cpi2014/results

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”

2016

34 of 189

doingbusiness.org/rankings

Global Innovation Index

2015

19 of 143

globalinnovationindex.org/
content/page/data-analysis

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

2014

USD 55,827

BEA

World Bank GNI per capita

2014

USD 42,000

data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

 

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Attitude toward Foreign Direct Investment

The Government of Japan explicitly promotes inward FDI and has established formal programs to attract it. Soon after taking office, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced its intention to double Japan’s inward FDI stock to JPY 35 trillion by 2020, and reiterated that commitment in its revised economic growth strategy in June 2015. At the end of 2014, the inward FDI stock was JPY 23.34 trillion, exceeding JPY 20 trillion for the first time. For the third consecutive year, the inflow of direct investment in Japan in 2014 exceeded the outflow. In April 2014, the government constituted a new “FDI Promotion Council” comprised of government ministers and private sector advisors. An advisory committee to the Council released a report with recommendations on how Japan can improve its investment climate (available at: http://www.invest-japan.go.jp/promotion/0425/sankou_02.pdf). On March 18, 2015, the Council proposed a new five-point action plan to encourage inbound FDI and help foreigners conduct business in Japan (available at http://www.invest-japan.go.jp/promotion/promise_en.pdf). The proposals include minimizing wait times for immigration procedures; introducing free Wi-Fi for foreign visitors; and providing multi-language displays in stores, roads, railways and hospitals by March 2020, prior to the Summer Olympic/Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Japan's stock of FDI, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), stood at 4 percent at the end of 2014, compared with 34 percent on average for all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. While the FDI stock has risen substantially since the 1990s, Japan still has the lowest ratio of FDI as a proportion of GDP of any OECD member. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) are the lead agencies responsible for assisting foreign firms wishing to invest in Japan. METI and JETRO have together created a “one-stop shop” for foreign investors, providing a single location—with language assistance—where those seeking to establish a company in Japan can process necessary paperwork. (Details are available at http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/ibsc/). Prefectural and city governments also have active programs to attract foreign investors, but they lack many of the financial tools U.S. states and municipalities use to attract investment.

The renewed interest of the Abe administration in attracting FDI is one component of the government’s drive to revitalize the Japanese economy. Japan has largely recovered from the economic shocks caused by the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, but Japan continues to face the long-term challenges of low growth, an aging population, and a shrinking workforce. The government seeks to restore Japan to a path of sustainable growth through its economic program combining aggressive monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy, and regulatory and structural reform, collectively dubbed “Abenomics.” Fiscal and monetary policies are credited with reigniting economic growth in 2013 and early 2014, but the economy stumbled following an April 2014 consumption tax hike and has struggled since to post consistent positive growth. Abe relaunched “Abenomics” in September 2015 with new goals to expand nominal GDP by 20 percent by 2020; raise the fertility rate to stabilize the population; and increase social support to allow workers with elderly relatives or children to keep working.

However, the reform component of “Abenomics,” considered essential for long-term growth and competitiveness, remains a work in progress. Additional impetus for reform should come from Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an ambitious, high-standard free trade agreement on which the United States, Japan, and ten other countries reached agreement in October 2015.

Over time, Japan must also transition toward fiscal sustainability. According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, as of October 2015 Japan’s gross public debt was estimated at about 245.9 percent of GDP – the highest percentage among advanced economies. The national Diet voted in 2012 to raise the consumption tax from 5 percent to 10 percent in two stages by 2015 to help reduce the fiscal imbalance; the first stage, from 5 percent to 8 percent, was implemented on April 1, 2014. The resulting drop in domestic consumption, however, compelled PM Abe in late 2014 to postpone by 18 months—from October 2015 to April 2017—the second stage of the tax hike (from 8 percent to 10 percent). The Diet in March 2015 ratified this postponement by amending the 2012 law, but removed the clause that would allow for additional postponements beyond 2017.

In addition to business considerations relevant to investing in a mature economy, foreign investors seeking a presence in the Japanese market or to acquire a Japanese firm through corporate takeover may face additional challenges, many of which relate more to prevailing business practices rather than to government regulations. These include an insular and consensual business culture that has traditionally been resistant to unsolicited M&A, especially when initiated by non-Japanese entities; a traditional lack of independent directors on many company boards (though this is changing); exclusive supplier networks and alliances between business groups that can restrict competition from foreign firms and domestic newcomers; cultural and linguistic challenges; and labor practices that tend to inhibit labor mobility.

The United States has discussed these and other issues relating to the investment environment with Japan in several different fora, including the U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative; the U.S.-Japan Dialogue to Promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation; the U.S.-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy; and bilateral negotiations on non-tariff measures (NTMs) in connection with the TPP.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

The World Trade Organization (WTO) conducted its most recent review of Japan’s trade policies in March 2015 (available at https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp410_e.htm).

The OECD released its biennial Japan economic survey results on April 15, 2015 (http://www.oecd.org/japan/economic-survey-japan.htm).

UNCTAD has not conducted any recent investment policy reviews of Japan.

Laws/Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

Major laws affecting FDI into Japan include the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act, the Companies Act, and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Japan has an independent judiciary, and Japan’s civil courts enforce property and contractual rights and do not discriminate against foreign investors.

A series of revisions to Japan's legal code over the past decade has served to encourage inbound FDI through M&A activity, even as overall levels remain low by OECD standards. Measures include 2005 revisions to the Companies Act, which significantly expanded the types of corporate structures available in Japan as well as the variety of M&A transactions available for corporate consolidation and restructuring; and the 2007 Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (last amended in 2008), which established a flexible regulatory system for financial markets and applied a uniform set of rules for similar financial instruments. After peaking at 309 in 2007, the number of annual inbound M&A transactions declined to 112 in 2012, but rebounded to 205 in 2015.

Business Registration

JETRO serves as the investment promotion agency within the Japanese government to facilitate foreign investment in Japan. JETRO’s website on “Laws and Regulations on Setting Up Business in Japan” provides information on business registration, visas, taxes, recruiting, labor regulations, and trademark/design systems and procedures in Japan. The website is available at: https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/setting_up/laws.html in English, French, German, Chinese and Korean. While registration of corporate names and addresses can be completed through the internet, most business registration procedures must be completed in person. In addition, corporate seals and articles of incorporation of newly established companies must be verified by a Japanese notary. In April 2015, JETRO opened a one-stop business support center in Tokyo so that foreign companies can complete all necessary legal and administrative procedures in one location.

The Basic Law on Small and Medium Sized Companies in Japan has multiple standards to define SMEs in different sectors. The Japanese government defines a SME in the manufacturing, construction, and transportation industries as either having less than JPY 300 million in capital or 300 or fewer employees. In the service sector, the government defines an SME as either having less than JPY 50 million in capital or 100 or fewer employees. In 2014, the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Agency announced a three-year tax incentive package to promote SME investment in new technologies or devices that can help improve productivity. Foreign SMEs with operations in Japan are also eligible to apply for this tax incentive package. However, the firm is not eligible for this program if the parent company of a foreign SME exceeds the SME threshold as defined above, and if more than 50 percent of its capital comes from the parent company or its overseas headquarters.

Industrial Promotion/National Strategic Special Zones

The National Strategic Special Zones Advisory Council chaired by the Prime Minister has designated a total of eleven National Strategic Special Zones (NSSZ) to implement selected deregulation measures intended to attract new investment and boost regional growth. Each zone has focused reform efforts in areas such as labor, education, technology, agriculture, or healthcare. The zones include Niigata City; Tokyo Metropolitan Area; Kansai region (Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto); Yabu City (in Hyogo Prefecture); Okinawa; Fukuoka City; Senboku City (Akita Prefecture); Sendai City (Miyagi Prefecture); Aichi Prefecture; Hiroshima Prefecture and Imabari City; and Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Prefecture). Further details on the initiative are available at http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/keizaisaisei/pdf/dai2-3en.pdf.

In an effort to promote tourism-related investment, the Abe administration in 2014 introduced legislation in the Diet that would provide the legal framework for allowing privately-operated casinos as part of integrated resorts, although no action has been taken on the bill as of early 2016. Opposition to the bill among some elements of the ruling coalition, and the absence of strong public support, make prospects for passage of the legislation unclear.

The property tax system for real estate acquisition or transfer includes registration and license taxes, acquisition tax, capital gains tax (which differs depending on the duration property was held), and official document taxes. In general, the government has been increasing taxes in a number of areas to discourage asset holding and encourage investment in the real economy. In January 2015, the government increased its inheritance and gift taxes, although it does provide some temporary exemption thresholds for property, aimed at promoting intergenerational transfer of land and other real assets. Japan's real estate sector experienced a painful contraction following the credit crunch of 2008, but rebounded after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) began buying real estate investment trust (REIT) shares in 2010. In April 2013 the BOJ increased its purchases of riskier assets as part of its aggressive monetary easing policy, and as of December 2015, the BOJ had JPY 270 billion of REIT shares on its books—a very small portion of BOJ’s total assets of JPY 383 trillion, but up substantially from just JPY 2.2 billion at the end of 2010. The BOJ’s adoption of a negative interest rate in February 2016 has spurred a decline in mortgage rates at many banks. Additionally, U.S. investors in the past have reported isolated instances of criminal elements interfering with real estate transactions in Japan, particularly those involving distressed assets.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Foreign and domestic private enterprises have the right to establish and own business enterprises and engage in all forms of remunerative activity. However, Article 821 of the 2005 Companies Act appears to prohibit branches of foreign corporations from engaging in transactions in Japan on a continuous basis. This wording has created uncertainty among foreign corporations that conduct their primary business in the Japanese market through a branch company. The Japanese Diet subsequently issued a clarification of the legislative intent of Article 821 that makes clear the provision should not apply to the activities of legitimate entities, and the Japanese government has said it will ensure Article 821 will not adversely affect the operations of foreign companies duly registered in Japan and conducting business in a lawful manner.

Japan has gradually eliminated most formal restrictions governing FDI. One remaining restriction limits foreign ownership in Japan's former land-line monopoly telephone operator, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), to 33 percent. Japan's Radio Law and separate Broadcasting Law also limit foreign investment in broadcasters to 20 percent, or 33 percent for broadcasters categorized as “facility-supplying.” Foreign ownership of Japanese companies invested in terrestrial broadcasters will be counted against these limits. These limits do not apply to communication satellite facility owners, program suppliers or cable television operators.

While not a limit on foreign control per se, Japan does restrict development of retail and commercial facilities to prevent excessive concentration of development in the environs of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, and to preserve agricultural land. Conversely, many prefectural governments outside the largest urban areas make property available for development in public industrial parks. Japan's zoning laws give local officials and residents considerable discretion to screen almost all aspects of a proposed building. In some areas, these factors have hindered real estate development projects and led to construction delays and higher building costs.

Privatization Program

Japan has privatized many state-owned enterprises over the last two decades. In other instances, it has reorganized government-run businesses as separate companies, although the government remains the sole or primary shareholder of the reorganized entity.

A bill was enacted in June 2013 to allow the sale of airport management rights for 28 airports owned and operated by the central government, including large regional airports like Sendai and Hiroshima, as well as 65 airports owned and operated by local governments. Under the program, airport operators must initiate the privatization request, which must be approved by the central government after a stakeholder review process. If approved, private firms would be able to bid on operation rights at these airports while the central or local governments would maintain ownership of the land and buildings. As of early 2016, Kansai, Takamatsu, Sendai, New Chitose, and Fukuoka airports have initiated requests for privatization. In July, Sendai Airport will be handed-off to a joint venture which seeks to invest in significant airport improvements over a 30-year period.

The Government of Japan sold shares in Japan Post Holdings (JPH), the parent company of the Japan Post Group, and two financial subsidiaries – Japan Post Bank (JPB) and Japan Post Insurance (JPI) – in an initial public offering (IPO) on November 4, 2015. The IPO sold 11 percent of available shares in three of four Japan Post entities. The final entity, the postal service subsidiary Japan Post Co., will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of JP Holdings. Follow on sales of shares in the three companies will take place over time, as the Postal Privatization Law requires the government to sell a majority share (up to two-thirds of all shares) in JPH, and all shares of JPB and JPI, as soon as possible. Timing for additional sales has not yet been determined.

Screening of FDI

The Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act governs investment in sectors deemed to have national sovereignty or national security implications. If a foreign investor wants to acquire over 10 percent of the shares of a listed company in certain designated sectors, it must provide prior notification and obtain approval from the Ministry of Finance and the ministry that regulates the specific industry. Designated sectors include agriculture, aerospace, forestry, petroleum, electric/gas/water utilities, telecommunications, and leather manufacturing. Amendments to the prior notification and reporting requirements, effective in 2009, reduced the administrative burden on foreign investors so as to facilitate inward investment. However, U.S. private equity firms can still face challenges when seeking to make significant investments in strategic industries deemed important to Japan’s national interests.

Competition Law

Several sections of Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Act (AMA) are relevant to FDI. The stated purpose of these provisions is to restrict shareholding, management, joint venture, and M&A activities that may constitute unreasonable restraints on competition or involve unfair trade practices. The Japanese government has emphasized that these provisions are not intended to discriminate against foreign companies or discourage FDI. Amendments to the AMA enacted in December 2013 include the abolition of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) hearing (Shinpan) system and transferred the authority to hear appeals of JFTC rulings to the Tokyo Municipal Court. The revised bill took effect April 1, 2015. On March 8, 2016 the Japanese government submitted a bill to the Diet to partially revise the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML), as part of an omnibus bill on TPP, which calls for revision of a total of 11 bills to make them consistent with the TPP agreement. The revised bill calls for a creation of a system under which the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) and business operator(s) can resolve alleged AML violation cases through a mutual agreement. The Japanese government expects the change to increase the chances of JFTC and business operator(s) reaching an amicable solution in a timely manner.

2. Conversion and Transfer PoliciesShare    

Foreign Exchange

Generally, all foreign exchange transactions to and from Japan – including transfers of profits and dividends, interest, royalties and fees, repatriation of capital, and repayment of principal – are freely permitted. Japan maintains an ex-post facto notification system for foreign exchange transactions that prohibits specified transactions, including certain foreign direct investments (e.g., from countries under international sanctions) or others that are listed in the appendix of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act.

Japan has not intervened in the foreign exchange markets in over three years, and has joined statements of the G-7 and G-20 affirming that countries would not target exchange rates for competitive purposes.

Remittance Policies

Japan is an active partner in combating terrorist financing. In coordination with other OECD members, Japan has strengthened due-diligence requirements for financial institutions and has had a "Know Your Customer" law since 2002.

In November 2014, the Japanese Diet passed three bills addressing three of the four major deficiencies noted in the 2008 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) evaluation of Japan's anti-money-laundering and terrorist finance regime. These new laws criminalize terrorist financing, strengthen customer due diligence standards for financial and non-financial sectors, and provide legal support for freezing terrorists’ assets. Of the deficiencies noted by FATF, only one now remains: ratification and implementation on the UN Convention against Transnational Crime (UNTOC or the Palermo Convention).

Japan is implementing a risk-based approach to AML/CFT. Following its investigation into three major Japanese banks’ relations with organized crime organizations, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in December 2013 implemented a new financial monitoring policy for financial institutions. The policy calls on institutions to conduct enhanced due diligence for higher-risk customers, business relationships, and transactions, as well as to sever relationships with suspicious entities and individuals. Customers wishing to make cash transfers exceeding JPY 100,000 must do so through bank clerks, not ATMs, and must present photo identification.

3. Expropriation and CompensationShare    

In the post-war period, the Japanese government has not expropriated any enterprises and the expropriation or nationalization of foreign investments in Japan is extremely unlikely.

In the wake of the March 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was placed under temporary public control. Since then, the government has injected over USD 12.5 billion through the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to procure a 50.1 percent stake in the company. Total government support for TEPCO and its compensation payments to victims and evacuees of the nuclear accident has exceeded USD 37 billion. The utility is scheduled to pay back the funds over time, but the plan is contingent on the uncertain restart of TEPCO’s large nuclear plant on Japan’s west coast. With recent ratification by Japan, the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) entered into force on April 15, 2015. The CSC is a global nuclear liability regime that channels all liability for a nuclear accident to plant operators, thereby allowing quick compensation to victims and protection for nuclear suppliers from recourse, freeing them to conduct business internationally.

Outside of the utilities and financial sectors, the government nationalized Japan Airlines in 2010 as part of a two-year corporate reorganization plan. The airline has since been re-privatized.

4. Dispute SettlementShare    

Legal System, Specialized Courts, Judicial Independence, Judgments of Foreign Courts

Japan is primarily a civil law country based on codified law. The Constitution and the five major codes; Civil, Civil Procedure, Commercial, Criminal and Criminal Procedure are the legislative base of the system. Japan has a fully independent judiciary and a consistently applied body of commercial law. An Intellectual Property High Court was established in 2005 to expedite trial proceedings in IP cases. Foreign judgments are recognized and enforced by Japanese courts if they meet the criteria stipulated under Article 118 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, a verdict from a domestic court will be required to enforce a foreign verdict.

Bankruptcy

An insolvent company in Japan can face liquidation under the Bankruptcy Act or take one of four roads to reorganization: the Civil Rehabilitation Law; the Corporate Reorganization Law; corporate reorganization under the Commercial Code; or an out-of-court creditor agreement. The Civil Rehabilitation Law focuses on corporate restructuring in contrast to liquidation, provides stronger protection of debtor assets prior to the start of restructuring procedures, eases requirements for initiating restructuring procedures, simplifies and rationalizes procedures for the examination and determination of liabilities, and improves procedures for approval of rehabilitation plans. Amendments to Japan’s Corporate Reorganization Law made corporate reorganization for large companies more cost-efficient, speedy, flexible and available at an earlier stage. Out-of-court settlements in Japan tend to save time and expense, but can sometimes lack transparency and fairness. In practice, because 100 percent creditor consensus is required for out-of-court settlements and the court can sanction a reorganization plan with only a majority of creditors’ approval, the last stage of an out-of-court settlement is often a request for a judicial seal of approval.

Investment Disputes

There have been no major bilateral investment disputes since 1990.

International Arbitration

There have been no cases of international binding arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and the Government of Japan since 1952.

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Japan is a member state to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention) since 1967 and is also a signatory to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention).

Duration of Dispute Resolution – Local Courts

Legal proceedings in Japan can be slow, and, depending on the circumstances of the case, Japanese courts may be ill-suited for litigation of investment and business disputes. Japanese courts lack powers to compel either witnesses to testify or a party to comply with an injunction. Timely temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are difficult to obtain. Courts have the power to encourage mediated settlements and there is a supervised mediation system. However, this process is often time-consuming and judges transfer frequently, so continuity is often lost. As a result, it is common for companies to seek to settle cases out of court.

5. Performance Requirements and Investment IncentivesShare    

WTO/TRIMS

Japan is a World Trade Organization (WTO) member and party to the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures TRIMS.

Investment Incentives

JETRO operates six Invest Japan Business Support Centers in major urban areas to provide investment-related information and one-stop support services to foreign companies interested in investing in Japan (detailed information is available at http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest). In April 2015, JETRO opened the Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Center, operated by the Tokyo metropolitan government under the Council on Tokyo Area National Strategic Zones. The Center handles all procedures for business establishment by foreign affiliated and other companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Prime Minister Abe as well as the Governor of Tokyo attended the opening ceremony of the center to demonstrate the government’s strong commitment to promote investment in Japan. Most national ministries have information desks to help guide potential investors. Many city or regional governments also work to attract foreign capital through outreach to prospective foreign investors, business start-up support services, and the offer of limited financial incentives.

The Government of Japan has sought to encourage investment in the Tohoku (northeast) region which was devastated by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power triple disaster of March 11, 2011. The Diet allocated JPY 26.3 trillion for the first phase of Tohoku region reconstruction; the appropriations cover the five years from FY2011 to FY2015 (designated as the “Intensive Reconstruction Period”). As of February 2016, 182 reconstruction promotion plans in the recovery special zones have been approved; the complete list is available on the Reconstruction Agency website at http://www.reconstruction.go.jp/english/

The Reconstruction Agency reports that public infrastructure reconstruction has largely progressed according to schedule. Going forward, the next five-year phase “Reconstruction and Revitalization Period” will run from FY2016 to FY2020, have a budget of JPY 6.5 trillion, and will focus on rebuilding communities as well as economic improvement. Local governments in the Tohoku region play a central role in formulating reconstruction plans and implementing nationally-approved measures. Japan’s joining the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage in January 2015 promises to facilitate greater international private sector involvement in ongoing clean-up and decommissioning work at and near the site of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Research and Development

The most recent five-year Science and Technology Basic Plan was approved by the Cabinet in January 2016. It aims to direct 4 percent of GDP to research and development by both the government and the private sector, including government spending equivalent to 1 percent of GDP or approximately JPY 26 trillion over fiscal years 2016-2020. The plan promotes configuration of elements such as the Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence, and network systems into “super-smart society service platforms” in a variety of sectors, including transportation, energy, infrastructure, and healthcare.

The Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), led by the Cabinet Office and chaired by Prime Minister Abe, is a cross-ministerial initiative to set national priorities and coordinate the science, technology, and innovation (STI) budget across the government. A key part of CSTI is the Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), started in 2014 to promote comprehensive development, from basic research discoveries to practical applications and commercialization, including efforts to reform current regulations and systems. The SIP had a budget of JPY 50 billion for FY2015, and identified ten areas that will contribute to the growth of the Japanese economy. Among the ten, five were identified as having the greatest promise: innovative combustion technology, next-generation power electronics, energy carriers, automated driving systems, and innovative design/manufacturing technologies. (Details on the SIP program can be found at http://www8.cao.go.jp/cstp/panhu/sip_english/5-8.pdf)

Japan is also a global leader in the robotics industry. In order to remain at the forefront in robotics technology, the current government established the Robot Revolution Realization Council in January 2015. The Council’s goals are to maintain Japan’s position as the world’s robot innovation hub, promote higher levels of robot utilization globally, and participate in setting international rules and standards in the robotics industry. The Council is expected to pursue a strategy focused on regulatory reform in multiple areas to encourage innovation and growth, including telecommunications (radio waves), aviation (drones), and health (nursing care).

Performance Requirements

Japan does not maintain performance requirements or requirements for local management participation or local control in joint ventures.

Data Storage

Japan has no general restrictions on data storage. However, separate and inconsistent privacy guidelines among Japanese ministries have created an unnecessarily burdensome regulatory environment with regard to the storage and general treatment of personally identifiable information in Japan. In September 2015, the Japanese Diet passed an amendment to the Personal Information Protection Act, seeking to “enhance the use of personal data for business purposes while protecting privacy.” The amendment created new rules for the protection of personal data including the transfer of personal data over the Internet, and established a third party authority similar to the EU’s Privacy Commissioner as regulator. On January 1, 2016, the Personal Information Protection Commission was established. The Commission plans to issue its guidelines for businesses on the protection of personal data in late 2016, to become effective at the start of 2017.

6. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

In Japan, secured interests in real property are recognized and enforced. Mortgages are a standard lien on real property, and must be recorded to be enforceable. Japan has a reliable recording system. Property can be rented or leased but no sub-lease is legal without the owner’s consent. On the World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business Report, Japan ranks 48 out of 189 economies in the category of Ease of Registering Property. This is a result of the bureaucratic steps and fees associated with purchasing improved real property in Japan, even when it is already registered and has a clear title. The required documentation for property purchase can be burdensome. Additionally, it is common practice in Japan for appraisal values to be lower than the actual sale value, increasing the deposit required of the purchaser as the bank will finance only up to the appraisal value.

Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property (IP) in Japan enjoys relatively strong legal protection and good enforcement, and Japan is not listed in USTR’s Special 301 report. However, prospective investors should be aware of costs and procedures associated with IP registration, and companies doing business in Japan should be clear about rights and obligations with respect to IP in any trading or licensing agreements. Japan has worked to improve IP registration procedures in recent years, including through revisions to Japanese law to make patent and trademark registrations easier and less costly to obtain.

Patents: Japan grants patents on a first-to-file basis. It accepts initial filings in English (to be followed by a Japanese translation), but companies should be careful as translation errors can have significant negative consequences. Unlike the United States, where examination of an application is automatic, in Japan an applicant must request examination of a patent application within three years of filing. The Japanese Patent Office publishes all patent applications 18 months after filing, and after the patent is granted it is published in the Patent Gazette. The patent is valid for 20 years from the date of filing. Since 2008 the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) has allowed filing of streamlined applications for inventions determined to be patentable in other participating countries, reducing the average processing time.

Trademarks: The Unfair Competition Prevention Law provides for protecting trademarks prior to registration. The owner of the mark must demonstrate that the mark is well known in Japan and that consumers will be confused by the use of an identical or similar mark by an unauthorized user. The law also provides some protection for trade secrets, such as know-how, customer lists, sales manuals, experimental data, and provides for injunctions against wrongful use, acquisition, or disclosure of a trade secret by any person who knew, or should have known, that the information in question was misappropriated. It also protects trade secrets from being disclosed during court trials and makes it illegal to sell items designed to circumvent technological protection measures, even if the device has other legal uses.

Copyrights: Japan maintains a non-formality principle for copyright registration; i.e., registration is not a pre-condition to the establishment of copyright protection. However, the Cultural Affairs Agency maintains a registry for such matters as date of first publication, date of creation of program works, and assignment of copyright. United States copyrights are recognized in Japan by international treaty.

Counterfeit goods: Japan’s Customs and Tariff Bureau, within the Ministry of Finance, reported 29,274 instances of intellectual property infringement that led to the confiscation of pirated goods during 2015, marking an eight percent decrease from 2014. The most seized items were handbags and wallets (11,463), clothing (4,610) and shoes (3,875). Customs also reported that 91.1 percent of these goods originated from China. The Japan Patent Office releases an annual survey regarding counterfeiting. Its most recent 2015 survey of over 4,000 Japanese companies found that 22 percent reported having suffered losses due to counterfeiting and 62 percent of the counterfeiting involved the Internet.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/.

Resources for Rights Holders

Jonathan Alan, Economic Section (from August 1, 2016)
+81-3-3224-5554
AlanJA@state.gov

Country Resources:

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ):

Tokyo Office
Masonic 39 MT Bldg. 10F
2-4-5 Azabudai, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-0041
http://www.accj.or.jp/

Embassy Tokyo’s List of Lawyers:

http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7113.html

7. Transparency of the Regulatory SystemShare    

The Japanese economy is regulated to an extent that can restrain economic growth and raise the cost of doing business. Over-regulation underlies many market access and competitive problems faced by U.S. companies in Japan.

In the financial sector, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) has made efforts to expand the body of published written interpretations of Japan’s financial laws, and has improved outreach to the private sector regarding these changes. The Cabinet Office has established a “hot line” through which businesses and private citizens can submit regulatory reform proposals to the government.

The United States has encouraged the Japanese government to promote deregulation, improve competition policy, and undertake administrative reforms that could contribute to more foreign direct investment into Japan. This includes improving public notice and comment procedures, applying consistency and transparency in rule-making, and giving due consideration to comments received. Most recently, the United States has engaged Japan on these issues in the context of bilateral talks on non-tariff measures (NTMs) in connection with the TPP trade negotiations. The National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), contains a description of Japan’s regulatory regime as it affects foreign exporters and investors.

Japan is a member of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development’s international network of transparent investment procedures: www.eregulations.org. Foreign and national investors may be able to find information on administrative procedures applicable to investment and income generating operations including the number of steps, name and contact details of the entities and persons in charge of procedures, required documents and conditions, costs, processing time, and legal bases justifying the procedures at:

www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/setting_up/modelcase/guide.html#Settingupacompanyorlocalbranch

8. Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio InvestmentShare    

Japan maintains no formal restrictions on inward portfolio investment, and foreign capital plays an important role in Japan's financial markets. Historically, many company managers and directors have resisted the actions of activist shareholders, especially foreign private equity funds, potentially limiting the attractiveness of Japan's equity market to large-scale foreign portfolio investment, although there are signs of change. Some firms have taken steps to facilitate the exercise of shareholder rights by foreign investors, including the use of electronic proxy voting. The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) maintains an Electronic Voting Platform for Foreign and Institutional Investors. All issuers of TSE-listed stocks are required to convert paper stock certificates into electronic form.

In part to improve their competitiveness internationally, Japan’s two biggest stock exchanges—Tokyo and Osaka—merged on January 1, 2013 to form the Japan Exchange Group (JPX). Under JPX, both exchanges continue to operate, with cash equity trading consolidated on the TSE in July 2013 and derivatives trading consolidated on the Osaka Exchange as of March 2014.

In January 2014, the TSE and Nikkei launched the JPX Nikkei 400 Index. The index puts a premium on company performance, particularly return on equity. Companies included should have returns on equity exceeding 11 percent in the past two years, and also should have two or more external board members. Inclusion in the index has become an unofficial “seal of approval” in corporate Japan, and many companies have taken steps, including undertaking share buybacks, to improve their ROE. The Bank of Japan has indicated it will purchase JPX-Nikkei 400 Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs) as part of its monetary operations, and Japan’s massive Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), also has indicated it will invest in JPX-Nikkei 400 ETFs, putting an additional premium on membership in the index.

Money and Banking System, Hostile Takeovers

Japan’s aversion to M&A is receding gradually. The majority of M&A over the past decade has been driven by the need to consolidate and restructure mature industries or in response to severe financial difficulties. In response to the Abe administration’s economic program, which heightened interest in business opportunities in Japan, M&A activity increased in 2015, and many cash-rich Japanese companies are also looking to carry out acquisitions abroad.

Friendly transfer of wholly-owned or majority-owned subsidiaries remains by far the more common form of M&A in Japan. Similarly, unlisted, owner-operated firms – which traditionally would only sell out as a last resort before bankruptcy – are becoming more amenable to acquisition, including by foreign investors. Nevertheless, there remains a strong preference among Japanese managers and directors for M&A that preserves the independence of the target company. If companies are forced to seek an acquirer, they are often most comfortable receiving an investment from or being acquired by a domestic firm with which they have a pre-existing business relationship.

After the Companies Act took full effect in 2007, expanding the types of M&A structures available in the Japanese market, many companies adopted defensive measures against hostile takeovers. The prevalence of such measures has since declined, although hostile takeovers remain relatively uncommon in Japan’s consensus-driven business culture.

9. Competition from State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

Japan has privatized most former state-owned enterprises (SOEs). As mentioned in Section 1.6, under Privatization Program, the government conducted an IPO on November 4, 2015 for Japan Post Holdings Co. and its financial subsidiaries, Japan Post Insurance and Japan Post Bank, Japan’s largest insurance company and bank respectively. The IPO marks the final stage of Japan Post privatization begun under former PM Junichiro Koizumi almost a decade ago, and responds to long-standing criticism from commercial banks and insurers—both foreign and Japanese—that their government-owned Japan Post rivals have an unfair advantage.

While there has been significant progress since 2013 with regard to private suppliers’ access to the postal insurance network, the U.S. government has continued to raise concerns about the preferential treatment given to Japan Post and some quasi-governmental entities compared to private sector competitors and the impact of these advantages on the ability of private companies to compete on a level playing field. A full description of U.S. government concerns with regard to the insurance sector, and efforts to address these concerns, is available in USTR’s 2015 National Trade Estimate (NTE) report for Japan.

Japan is a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Japan applies a threshold of 15 million SDRs (approximately $23.98 million) for procurement of construction services by sub-central entities and many government enterprises covered under the GPA, which is three times the threshold applied by the United States and most other GPA Parties.

The United States continues to emphasize the importance of improving the bidding process for government contracts in Japan, including by increasing transparency in tendering decisions and taking steps that facilitate improved opportunities for participation by qualified bidders.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Japan does not have a sovereign wealth fund (SWF).

10. Responsible Business ConductShare    

The government has made improved corporate governance an objective in its economic growth strategy, and good governance principles—including the appointment of independent outside directors to company boards—are on the rise in Japan. According to a report by the Tokyo Stock Exchange in July 2015, the percentage of companies listed in the first tier of the TSE with at least one outside director was 94.6 percent (1,779 companies out of 1,887), up from 74.3 percent in 2014, and 59.1 percent of those companies had at least two outside directors, up from 34.7 percent in 2014.

In June 2014, the Diet passed the revised Companies Act that encourages listed companies to appoint at least one outside director to their boards, or to publicly explain in their annual report and at their annual shareholders meeting why the company considers the appointment of an outside director to be inappropriate (comply or explain provision). The amendments also created an alternative structure where companies may institute an audit and supervisory committee whose members do not serve as directors. The revised Companies Act became effective May 1, 2015.

Responding to concerns that these Companies Act revisions—although welcome—did not go far enough in promoting governance changes, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) and TSE worked with academics and private sector experts in late 2014 to draft Japan’s first corporate governance “Code of Conduct.” Modeled on OECD and UK corporate governance principles, the Code aims to increase corporate transparency and management accountability through five broad areas, including the appointment of outside directors to company boards and a requirement that companies provide a public explanation for cross-holding shares.

The Abe administration hopes the Code will help reinvigorate Japan’s corporate sector by encouraging a stronger focus by corporate management on earnings and shareholder value. Together with the “Stewardship Code” for institutional investors launched by the FSA in April 2014, the Code encourages companies to put their massive cash stockpiles to better use by increasing investment, raising dividends, and taking on more smart risk that can boost Japan’s overall growth. The Code was finalized in March 2015 and took effect in June 2015. An English translation of the Code is available at:

http://www.fsa.go.jp/en/refer/councils/corporategovernance/20150306-1/01.pdf

In 2015, Toshiba Corporation announced an accounting scandal that had overstated company profits by roughly $2 billion over seven years. Toshiba was fined ¥7.3 billion ($65 million) by the Financial Services Agency and the scandal highlighted the need for firms to ensure directors are sufficiently qualified to provide sufficient oversight of management.

Awareness of corporate social responsibility among both producers and consumers in Japan is high, and foreign and local enterprises generally follow accepted CSR principles. Business organizations also actively promote CSR.

Japan is an adherent to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Japanese National Contact Point (NCP) is an interagency body which is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and includes the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It has an advisory body, the NCP Committee, which consists of the Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren), the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), and the Japanese NCP. Japan encourages adherence to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Afflicted and High-Risk Areas making information available on the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website at:

http://www.meti.go.jp/policy/trade_policy/oecd/html/guidance.html.

11. Political ViolenceShare    

Political violence is rare in Japan. Acts of political violence involving U.S. business interests are virtually unknown.

12. CorruptionShare    

Japan's penal code covers crimes of official corruption, and an individual convicted under these statutes is, depending on the nature of the crime, subject to prison sentences and possible fines. With respect to corporate officers who accept bribes, Japanese law also provides for company directors to be subject to fines and/or imprisonment, and some judgments have been rendered against company directors.

The direct exchange of cash for favors from government officials in Japan is extremely rare. However, the web of close relationships between Japanese companies, politicians, government organizations, and universities has been said to foster an inwardly-cooperative business climate that is conducive to the awarding of contracts, positions, etc. within a tight circle of local players. This phenomenon manifests itself most frequently and seriously in Japan through the rigging of bids on government public works projects.

Japan’s Act on Elimination and Prevention of Involvement in Bid-Rigging authorizes the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) to demand that central and local government commissioning agencies take corrective measures to prevent continued complicity of officials in bid-rigging activities, and to report such measures to the JFTC. The Act also contains provisions concerning disciplinary action against officials participating in bid rigging and compensation for overcharges when the officials caused damage to the government due to willful or grave negligence. Nevertheless, questions remain as to whether the Act's disciplinary provisions are strong enough to ensure officials involved in illegal bid-rigging are held accountable.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Japan has ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which bans bribing foreign government officials. However, there are continuing concerns over the effectiveness of Japan’s anti-bribery enforcement efforts, particularly the very small number of cases prosecuted by Japanese authorities compared to other OECD members.

Resources to Report Corruption

Businesses or individuals may contact the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), with contact details at:

http://www.jftc.go.jp/en/about_jftc/contact_us.html.

13. Bilateral Investment Agreements/Economic Partnership AgreementsShare    

The 1953 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation gives national treatment and most favored nation treatment to U.S. investments in Japan. In 2015, Japan and 11 other member countries reached a comprehensive agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP when effectuated will include chapters governing investment.

As of March 2016, Japan had concluded bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with 29 countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Oman, and Kenya. Japan is currently negotiating bilateral BITs with Qatar, Tanzania,, Ghana, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Japan has a trilateral investment agreement with China and South Korea. Japan also has Economic Partnership Agreements that include investment chapters with 14 countries (Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Chili, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Switzerland, Vietnam, India, Peru, Australia and Mongolia).

Bilateral Taxation Treaties

The United States and Japan have a double taxation treaty. The current treaty allows Japan to tax the business profits of a U.S. resident only to the extent those profits are attributable to a permanent establishment in Japan. It also provides measures to mitigate double taxation. This permanent establishment provision, combined with Japan's currently high 32.11 percent corporate tax rate, serves to encourage foreign and investment funds to keep their trading and investment operations offshore.

In January 2013, the United States and Japan signed a revision to the bilateral income tax treaty to bring it into closer conformity with the current tax treaty policies of the United States and Japan. The revision is awaiting ratification by the U.S. Congress.

14. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) insurance and finance programs are not available in Japan.

Japan is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Japan's capital subscription to MIGA is the second largest, after the United States.

15. LaborShare    

In the postwar era, employment practices in Japan’s large companies centered on the principles of lifetime employment, seniority-based wages, and broad membership in unions. However, two decades of slow growth and the demographic reality of an aging population and shrinking workforce is forcing many firms to reduce lifetime employment guarantees and seniority-based wages in favor of merit-based pay scales and limited-term contracts. Still, labor mobility between firms remains low.

Traditionally, Japanese workers have been classified as either regular or non-regular employees. Companies recruit regular employees directly from schools or universities and provide an employment contract with no fixed duration, effectively guaranteeing them lifetime employment. In contrast, non-regular employees (such as temporary or contract workers) are hired for a fixed period. Companies have increasingly used non-regular workers to fill short-term labor requirements and to save on labor costs, with non-regular workers rising to 38 percent of total employees in 2015, up from 16 percent in 1985. In recent years, re-hiring of employees on non-regular status after retirement is also on the rise. Japanese government policy makers are deeply concerned that the number of younger workers in non-regular status remains stubbornly high and that the ability of such workers to find permanent employment will decline as they get older.

Although independent labor unions play a role in the annual determination of wage scales throughout the economy, that role has been declining along with union membership. Labor union members today make up only 17.5 percent of the labor force, down from 25 percent in the 1990s. To address the impending labor shortage resulting from population decline and a rapidly aging society, Japan’s government has pursued measures to increase participation and retention of older workers and women in the labor force. A new law that went into force in April 2013 requires companies to introduce employment systems allowing employees reaching retirement age (generally set at 60) to continue working until 65, if they desire.

In June 2013, the government named women’s increased economic participation as a policy priority. Goals include reducing the number of women who quit their jobs due to pregnancy, childbirth or child-rearing; reducing childcare center waitlists through increased capacity; increasing the number of women in management positions; and increasing the number of female national civil servants. The Women’s Empowerment Law passed on August 28, 2015 requires larger companies to disclose statistics about the hiring and promotion of women, and adopt action plans to improve the numbers.

The Japanese government has taken additional changes to labor and immigration law that could facilitate the entry of larger numbers of skilled foreign workers in selected sectors. For example, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law was revised in 2014 to improve the “Points System” for highly skilled foreign professionals, easing the requirements for residency. The “Points System” applies to foreign professional workers engaged in advanced academic research, advanced technical activities or advanced business management activities, and those who qualify are granted various preferential immigration treatments that would allow them to engage in multiple activities, permit their spouses to work in Japan, and permit a domestic worker (maid) to accompany them to Japan.

The Japanese government has also taken steps to expand the foreign Technical Intern and Trainee Program (TITP). Originally intended as a skills-transfer program for workers from developing countries, TITP is being used to address immediate labor shortages in specific sectors such as construction. In April 2014 the Japanese government announced an expansion of TITP in the construction sector through FY2020, the year of the Tokyo summer Olympics. The expansion includes extending the period of stay for construction workers under TITP from three years to five, and permitting re-entry of former interns and trainees for another two to three years.

In March 2015, two additional bills related to foreign workers were submitted to the Diet. The first would extend the period of stay under TITP to five years for more categories of workers, and strengthen supervision of the program to deter human rights abuses. The second bill would create a new residency status of nursing care (kaigo) for foreign students who study at certain Japanese nursing-care training schools and pass the national caregivers’ examination. In April 2015, the so-called “White Collar Exemption” Bill (Bill to Revise the Labor Standards Law) was submitted to the Diet to implement a merit-based wage system for certain highly skilled professionals and exempt firms from paying such workers overtime or even premium overtime pay for late night, weekend, or holiday work. All three bills have been carried over for consideration by the Diet in the 2016 session.

Japan has ratified 48 ILO Conventions (including six of the eight core Conventions). As part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan and all other parties agree to adopt the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including elimination of forced labor and the abolition of child labor.

16. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade FacilitationShare    

Japan no longer has free-trade zones or free ports. Customs authorities allow the bonding of warehousing and processing facilities adjacent to ports on a case-by-case basis.

17. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

 

Host Country Statistical source*

USG or international statistical source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

 

Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($Trillion USD)

2014

478,368

2014

4.601

worldbank.org/en/country

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical source*

USG or international statistical source

USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

2014

55,827

2014

108,068

bea.gov/international/factsheet/
factsheet.cfm?Area=614

Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)

2014

383,646

NA

372,800

bea.gov/international/fa`ctsheet/
factsheet.cfm?Area=614

Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP

2014

3.8%

2014

3.0%

OECD FDI in figures (2014)

*Sources:

(1)World Bank: worldbank.org/en/countryJs
(2) U.S. Department of Commerce: bea.gov/international/factsheet/
(3) Japan’s FDI stock: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) – jetro.go.jp/en/reports/statistics/


Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data

From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions, Stock)

Inward Direct Investment

Outward Direct Investment

Total Inward

194,857

100%

Total Outward

1,201,506

100%

United States

55,827

28.7%

United States

383,646

31.9%

Netherlands

25,490

13.1%

China, P.R.: Mainland

104,355

8.7%

France

23,353

12%

Netherlands

96,115

8%

United Kingdom

15,009

7.7%

United Kingdom

79,704

6.6%

Singapore

14,393

7.4%

Australia

62,594

5.2%

"0" reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

Source: JETRO (converted from JPY to USD)
 

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

Portfolio Investment Assets

Top Five Partners (Japanese Yen, 100 Millions)

Total

Equity Securities

Total Debt Securities

All Countries

4,100,563

100%

All Countries

644,268

100%

All Countries

2,664,006

100%

United States

1,488,176

35%

United States

334,567

52%

United States

1,052,141

31%

Cayman Islands

632,946

15%

United Kingdom

45,930

7%

France

260,346

10%

France

293,972

7%

Switzerland

24,061

4%

Cayman Islands

167,945

6%

United Kingdom

221,946

5%

Germany

22,280

4%

United Kingdom

167,313

6%

Germany

184,817

5%

France

21,182

3%

Germany

161,471

6%

Source: Bank of Japan
 

18. Contact for More InformationShare    

Neil Gibson
Economic Section
U.S. Embassy Tokyo
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, 107-8420 Tokyo, Japan
+81-3-3224-5027
GibsonNH@state.gov